As reported by The Hoya, Georgetown University is moving forward with a plan for a large new athletic training facility. The plans call for a 125,000 square foot building that will, according to the Hoya ” house practice courts, locker rooms, team meeting rooms and coaches’ offices for the men’s and women’s basketball programs. Locker rooms for men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse as well as weight training facilities and training room areas for all varsity athletes are also slated to be built.”
The building has actually been on the drawing board for quite a while. It was even included in Georgetown’s 2000 campus plan. It is included again in GU’s most recent proposed plan. The proposal calls for the building to be constructed where the tennis courts now stand:
GM has heard that GU intends to rebuild the tennis courts on top of the new building.
GU is coming before the Old Georgetown Board next month for approvals. Which means they’ll be stopping by the ANC a few days before. And it wouldn’t be a GU matter before the ANC if it didn’t somehow get wrapped up in the campus plan. But this time it’s actually not a stretch!
Neighbors opposed to the proposed campus plan argue that GU ought to build more dorms on campus. GU has repeatedly said it has no space to build dorms on campus. But they’re proposing to build a new 125,000 square foot building. So obviously there’s room. It’s just that they’d prefer to build an athletic center to improve sports recruitment. And since this has been on the drawing board for so long, they likely never seriously considered changing this project to address the neighbors. Which is fine, but it gives ammunition to those opposed to the plan to say that it’s not that GU can’t build new dorms on campus, they just don’t want to.
The best solution would obviously be to build the new facility as a mixed use building, with several floors of dorms above the athletics part. They could be dorms specifically for the athletes perhaps.
If the ANC does bring up this point, it’s nearly certain that GU will say that they absolutely need this facility and that building dorms just doesn’t work with this project. And frankly, the OGB process is not really the appropriate venue for this discussion (and maybe the ANC realizes this, and GM will be wrong that it’ll even come up). But this building has not been the focus of much discussion during the Zoning Commission hearings over the proposed campus plan, but GM wonders whether GU moving forward with it now might change that.