The university plans to convert the Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in the LeaveyCenter into a dormitory by the fall of 2014, two years earlier than previously expected.

Administrators announced that they would expedite the project or find alternate space to house additional students in their final submission to the D.C. Zoning Commission as part of the Campus Plan process earlier this month.

According to university spokeswoman Stacy Kerr, the decision to move ahead of schedule was not prompted by additional community concerns.

“When we reviewed our plans and realized that we could move faster than 2016, [we used] our final campus plan hearing to demonstrate our commitment to moving more beds on campus,” she said.

Georgetown has faced pressure from the surrounding neighborhoods to accommodate more students within the university’s gates. More than 5,000 undergraduates currently live on the main campus.

“Our position is that [we feel we] already house a higher percentage of students on campus than almost any other university,” Kerr said.

However, she added that the implementation of any project will ultimately depend upon the final ruling by the D.C. Zoning Commission. Public deliberations and a preliminary ruling will take place Feb. 9, which will allow the university to gauge interest for the renovation.

If the plan is accepted, the hotel is expected to be converted into a dormitory that would house an additional 250 beds. As of now, the university does not have any alternative student housing plans if the Zoning Commission does not approve the project.

“It’s very much in the planning stages, but we worked with an architectural firm with extensive student housing experience to determine the feasibility of the conversion and to develop a concept plan,” Kerr said.

Because the project has not yet been approved, Kerr was unable to give a potential date for the start of construction. While the dorm is slated to be completed and ready for occupancy by the fall of 2014, no details were given on which year of students the new dorm would house.

The Hoya previously reported the conversion of the hotel would cost about $8 million, which does not include the revenue lost from the discontinuation of the hotel and decreased business of the conference center.

Although the conversion plans will not be finalized for several months, students already have mixed reactions about the possible change.

“I think it’s going to be a good idea because the rooms will be so nice,” Emily Schuster (COL ’13) said. “Since it’s a hotel, it’s made for high-paying guests.”

Others, however, feel that the loss of the hotel could impact those who come to visit the school.

“My parents stay there all the time,” Hillary Heer (COL ’15) said. “I feel like it’s so much more convenient to [stay there] when you’re [visiting as] a prospective student.”

 

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