Space

What are the circumstances that have contributed to the current space crunch? The proliferation of clubs and their activities to replace the void in campus culture after the drinking age change has contributed to our current space crunch. There has been little scalability of space to match this growth. In addition, as renovations are made to older buildings “student designated” spaces have been eliminated or dramatically reduced and/or turned into administrative offices.

CAPS’ offices and lobby replaced Darnall Hall’s Student Lounge. This space was available to all student groups to use, particularly as rehearsal space for Orchestra and Chamber Choir. Facilities anagement and the Housing Office replaced Harbin Student Lounge. This space once allowed students to gather in informal settings and served as rehearsal space for Nomadic Theatre. LXR’s renovations eliminated the storage space where student groups kept valuable equipment and supplies. That storage space was never replaced anywhere on campus. To be fair, there are two rooms that became available to student groups in LXR after renovations. However, the rooms are not sound proof and have extremely bad acoustics. Hence, any sound made by student groups interrupts students in their dorm rooms. Therefore, only a limited amount of student groups can use this space. Village C Formal Lounge in the past had a partition that separated it into two rooms. However, after the partition broke, a decision was made that it was too expensive to repair or replace. Hence, only one group can meet in Village C Formal Lounge at any given time. Yates has two exercise rooms. Student organizations are only allowed to use the smaller of the two exercise rooms. Over the years Yates has decreased the space in the room by adding exercise bikes and a wall of closets. In addition, the small exercise room is shared by Yates’ Judo and exercise classes. Hence, the dancers have a smaller room to rehearse and less time that they can use the small exercise room. The space has become so limited that only two of the performance arts groups (GU Dance and Black Movements) are allowed to use the room. This has restricted the number of student organizations that can receive full access to PAAC benefits from the University. For example, Ballet Folklorico received access to benefits, however, they were not and presently cannot be assured rehearsal space. Only one of the Student Activities Commission’s organizations has access to the exercise room. The limited time and space that Ballroom Dance Club was given and an inability to find a wooden floor on campus forced the group to cancel a large number of their classes that bring in an income of over $23,000, a requirement by the SAC. The renovations that will be occurring in St. Mary’s will displace the exclusive rehearsal space for the Children and Improv Players organizations. Center Grille, in the past, was an area that student groups were able to use throughout the year for various reasons and as rehearsal space for some of the performing arts groups after 3 p.m. However, since the Presidential Classroom Program began to use the Marriott Conference Center as their host, student groups have not been able to use Center Grille. Hence, student organizations have been forced to rent spaces off campus such as the National Conservatory of Performing Arts. New South Formal Lounge was open space that student groups could utilize until three years ago. However, it is now a business school classroom. Hence, the only reason for student groups to use this room is for meetings. New South Formal Lounge was a big loss because it was a specialized room (acoustics, sound proof) that could be manipulated by various student groups for diverse reasons (dance and theatre rehearsals, student get-togethers, receptions and meetings). The addition of the ‘Hoya Kids’ Day Care Center and the move of Continuing Education to Poulton Hall has reduced the useable space available. Due to the reduction of available space, access to the backstage of Poulton Hall requires crossing through an administrator’s office. Also, the duct work for a new heating and air conditioning unit for the Day Care Center runs through one of the workshop areas, again reducing the space that is available to student groups. The 4th floor classrooms of the Walsh Building were just renovated, reducing open space available to students. Although the Art, Music, and Theatre Department needs state-of-the-art classrooms, these classrooms serve relatively few students. The Georgetown Band has seen an increase in its membership, making the current practice place in the New North Music Room inadequate. Also, the two practice rooms in New South and the two practice rooms in LXR are increasingly over-booked. The South Gallery in the Leavey Center has become more restricted to students. Many students use the area for small-group meetings and for study. Recently, students have been told that this area was off-limits to them at all times. There seems to be confusion as to the official policy on the use of this area.

Why do students need additional space for programming, performing arts, recreation and offices?

The 1999 Report on Student Life clearly stressed the need for student activities and recreational space on campus in order to help create a sense of permanency and community. Students need adequate space to participate in activities and service opportunities, and for rehearsals. Furthermore, Georgetown students also desperately need communal space where they can gather, study, and converse. It is through gathering together that students feel that they are a part of a larger community. Currently, many students go off campus in order to socialize with their peers. Washington, D.C. offers tremendous historical, cultural and educational areas to explore that add to the Georgetown experience. However, many students also leave campus to engage in sometimes reckless behavior, simply because no alternatives are provided for them on campus.

The University has taken some important steps towards realizing future student space needs. However, little has been done with regards to interim student space needs. The Leavey Center remains inadequate for student activities and recreational space. Performing Arts groups continue to search for rehearsal space. More needs to be done to address the immediate space needs of Georgetown students.

Since The 1999 Report on Student Life, there has been little immediate response to the needs for student activities space on campus. It is imperative that students are provided with space to learn, study, pursue extracurricular activities and to recreate in the spirit of a community.

How could space be reallocated to meet student needs?

The University needs to address the immediate student space requests in new and innovative ways. Working with pre-existing space, there are economically feasible short-term solutions. Various buildings and areas on campus can have extended hours or remain open 24-hours a day. Underutilized spaces can also be converted for new uses. Space that has traditionally been used only during the day can be made available to student groups when not in use.

Future student space needs can be met through the addition of the new Southwest Quadrangle, the New South Dining Hall, parts of Healy, the Jesuit Residence and through additional renovations to the Leavey Center. These are all attainable long-term possibilities for providing adequate space for students on campus.

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