New Student Center Blueprint Presented at Forum
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 15, 2012 23:11
The final New South Student Center forum in Bulldog Alley Thursday included discussions between students, administrators and architects as the university looks to finalize plans for the renovation.
ikon.5 architect Joe Tattoni presented diagrams of the NSSC to a crowd of approximately 40 people.
Tattoni’s designs for the NSSC included a general lobby area and a variety of student assembly, study and lounge areas. He also confirmed that Dining Services will run a pub-style restaurant, tentatively named Healy Pub, and that Students of Georgetown, Inc. plans to open a made-to-order salad and smoothie shop.
“We’re at a schematic level in the design,” Tattoni said. ”It’s a balancing of aspiration, cost and schedule. You’re seeing a snapshot of a work in progress.”
Tattoni added that many ideas proposed by students at previous forum events have been incorporated into the design plans, including additional TVs and power stations.
In response to student and faculty concerns, he emphasized that Healy Pub will not disrupt students studying in the center and living in New South.
“All the things that were talked about were accommodated,” Tattoni said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson said that although the event was advertised as the final student forum on the NSSC, students will have future opportunities to voice their opinions. Georgetown University Student Association Senate Vice Speaker Zach Singer (SFS ’15) and representative Alex Freeman (COL ’14) have been involved in the project as student members of the NSSC Committee.
“[The NSCC] is going to be such a core part of campus for the next 20 years,” Singer said. “The university is really committed to making this building the heart of student life on campus, and from being on the committee you can really see that.”
Singer said he thought students were impressed by the designs they saw at the forum.
“The plans that we showed tonight demonstrated that we have a somewhat concrete, feasible idea right now,” he said. “The designs aren’t finalized and the pictures aren’t necessarily what it’s going to end up being, but the idea, the sentiment of the building is strong. The students seemed to really get the space.”
Some students, however, were worried about space issues.
“There’s some concern about what space will be left for dance,” said Rachel Rodgers (SFS ’16), a ballet student and member of the Black Movements Dance Theatre. Other groups whose space may be jeopardized include the Tae Kwon Do club and Georgetown University Dance Company.
“It’s true that we’re space constrained now and that we’ll add new space and still be space constrained,” Director of Student Affairs Erika Cohen-Derr said. “But this is adding some additional meeting spaces … students will get priority and perhaps exclusive use of these spaces.”
Olson emphasized that though available square footage may decrease, the university will work to accommodate student needs.
“That whole floor is designed for students -- that’s the whole idea,” Olson said. “The space will definitely be reservable.”
Student Activities Commission member Dan Silkman (COL ‘15) had a more positive outlook.
“I’ve been really interested in seeing how it will advance our student experience,” he said. “It’ll be nice to see a dedicated space on campus for students to gather that isn’t Lau Two.”