Healey Family Student Center Designs, Funding Show 'Momentum'
New Georgetown University facility could break ground this summer.
Georgetown University hopes to break ground on the Healey Family Student Center, a new gathering place for campus social life, as soon as this summer. Construction would begin this fall with the goal of opening the new space by Fall 2014.
"There's a lot of momentum," behind the project according to Todd Olson, GU's vice president of student affairs.
The Healey Family Student Center, formerly referred to as the New South Student Center, will occupy some 30,000 square feet at the base of the New South dorm on campus. The space was previously a dining room and now houses a few university offices.
The student center will include meeting spaces, dance practice rooms, dining options, event spaces and a pub, among other amenities.
Olson said he wants the new student center to be a place where students feel welcome throughout the day and into the night. A website dedicated to the center calls it Georgetown's "living room."
There will be a great room with a central hearth and a terrace that shows off Georgetown's location along the Potomac River.
"We want to encourage even more of our student social life to move on to campus," Olson told Patch.
A more social campus environment was one of the goals set forth in the recent campus plan agreement reached last summer.
"This project is one of the most visible and powerful ways we can carry out those goals," Olson said.
The Healey Family Foundation gave "a significant lead gift" to propel the center forward, according to a news release from GU. Thomas J. Healey (’64) is a former member of the Georgetown University Board of Directors and Board of Regents.
“I went to Georgetown when New South was still new, and I remember that as the center of campus,” Healey said in a prepared statement. “We’re thrilled to see a powerful new use of this valuable real estate once again.”
The Healey Family Student Center is expected to cost $21 million. So far GU has raised $10.7 million through the university’s capital campaign.
New Jersey-based firm ikon.5 is the architect for the project. GU took the design to the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission and the Old Georgetown Board in February.
The OGB gave the design concept approval and GU will return for full approval once the full design in complete.
Do you think having an on-campus pub and social center will improve the relationship between students, the university and the community?