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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Maintenance problems plague summer residents

Residents in City Hall and Ivory Tower encountered several maintenance issues during their summer stay, but the University said the problems have been fixed and preparations for fall move-in have been underway for nearly a year.

In City Hall, ongoing air conditioning issues, early-morning fire alarms and malfunctioning electronics prompted the University to offer rebates to residents amid complaints from the summer interns and academic-year students living in the building.

Seth Weinshel, director of GW Housing Programs, said in an e-mail in July that a $75 credit was issued to all residents due to “ongoing air conditioning issues with the building that have taken longer than anticipated to rectify.” The air conditioning issues came during one of the hottest summers on record in the District, with more than 50 days of 90 degree and higher temperatures.

John Ralls, senior advisor for communications and outreach in the Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer, said the air conditioning issues have been fixed in time for fall move-in.

“There have been no operational problems for several weeks and we will continue to monitor this HVAC system as building activity increases with fall move-in,” Ralls said.

In Ivory Tower, residents submitted an increased number of requests for pest control in the building, leading Residential Property Management to treat the building to help prevent the spread of pest activity, according to an e-mail sent to residents in July.

In order to prepare for the treatment, Property Management provided residents with plastic bags. Residents were required to remove all items from counter tops, kitchen cabinets and vanity cabinets, and needed to ensure there was one foot of clear space around the entire perimeter of the room to allow for treatment of baseboards.

The rooms that received the treatment were off-limits to residents for at least two hours after the treatment. Property Management provided re-entry time on a door sign.

More than 150 rooms were affected, according to the treatment schedule provided to residents.

Ralls said that pest control is an ongoing challenge for the University.

“Residence halls experience cyclical increases which are abated with routine maintenance and, if needed, additional treatment which do not require relocation of residents or reimbursements.”

Both the pest control and air conditioning maintenance are efforts considered in the overall budget of the University’s Division of Operations, Ralls said, declining to comment on the specific costs of the maintenance operations.

In addition to handling issues that arose over the summer, the University performed routine repairs and upgrades to all residence halls, Ralls said.

Life safety upgrades, including upgrades to fire alarms, sprinklers and elevators, were conducted in JBKO. Repairs to chilled water lines were made on floors five through eight of Mitchell Hall.

Despite the summer housing issues, Weinshel said GW Housing Programs’ preparations for move-in are on schedule.

A committee of staff from more than 20 offices helped prepare the University for move-in, with planning beginning shortly after students were settled last fall.

Weinshel said he expects that more than 1,000 faculty, staff and student volunteers will welcome the class of 2014 to residence halls on Aug. 28.

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