With a new site plan submitted last week, Georgetown Campus Ministry is a step closer to a project that has been projected to cost $11.1 million, after three years of delays, releasing the new floor plan for the retreat center.

“Once we have all of the necessary approvals in place, we will begin construction,” Director of Media Relations Andy Pino said. “We expect construction, which could begin as early as next spring, to take about one year.”

Construction has been delayed since the initial purchase of the 56 acres in 2005, due to the lack of several permits and the ongoing work on the site plan.

The Calcagnini Contemplative Center will serve as the official space for all of Campus Ministry’s retreats, providing a tranquil wooded setting for its spiritual programs as well as for ESCAPE, its popular non-religious program for first-years.

The current plan includes a long gravel driveway that turns off the main road and leads to a cluster of one-story buildings in a clearing overlooking the Appalachian Trail and the Shenandoah Valley known as the Bear’s Den Rural Historic District.

“The plan for the Calcagnini Contemplative Center includes a cluster of one-story buildings which would house a kitchen, dining areas, meeting rooms, some smaller gathering spaces, a chapel, a caretaker’s cottage and dormitory spaces,” Pino said.

The main buildings will consist of a dining room, one large community room with a porch, a smaller community breakout room, a chapel, a caretaker’s cabin and a series of cabins with covered walkways forming a courtyard. Trees will surround the center, which will keep an existing tennis court and will add a small parking lot.

The site of the future center, which sits on eight acres of land, will have the capacity to accommodate 70 to 80 students, and will be used approximately 20 weekends each year, Pino added.

The building of the center will require the demolition of what is currently an historic farmhouse called the Hohenheim House, which dates from the early19th century, said university spokesperson Julie Bataille in a Washington Star article.

The Hohenheim House was recently included in Virginia’s Bear’s Den Rural Historic District.

The university has yet to decide what will be done with the undeveloped land, according the Winchester Star.

Georgetown initially submitted an application to the Clarke County Conservation Easement Authority, which would put the land into a conservation easement, but it was later withdrawn, the article stated.

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