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The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Officials present plan to remodel Smith Center to ANC

Officials proposed demolishing the Smith Center pool to build a new basketball court and exercise facilities.
Lexi Critchett | Staff Photographer
Adam Aaronson, the assistant vice president of construction management and campus planning, stands before Commissioners Dasia Bandy, Ed Comer and Jim Malec.

Updated: Oct. 17, 2023, at 10:53 a.m.

Officials presented a plan to remodel the Smith Center to improve facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball teams to a local governing body Wednesday.

Officials proposed demolishing the pool in the Smith Center to construct an additional basketball court and weight and cardio facilities for the men’s and women’s basketball teams to members of the Foggy Bottom and West End Advisory Neighborhood Commission. The ANC also presented its budget for next year and heard proposals for live music at a local restaurant and an art installation at a small nearby park.

Officials propose Smith Center expansion
Director of Athletics Tanya Vogel, Community Relations Director Kevin Days, Assistant Vice President of Construction Management and Campus Planning Adam Aaronson and attorney Lee Templin presented a plan to fill the pool at the Smith Center to add an additional basketball court and cardio and weight stations for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Vogel said the construction of the new space will open up the main arena floor for the University’s other athletic programs.

Vogel said the Smith Center’s main arena is currently occupied between about 6 a.m. and 10 to 11:30 p.m. each day. She said the shallow end of the Smith Center pool poses challenges for the water polo team’s practices.

Aaronson said University officials plan to file a zoning application increasing the size of the Smith Center by 10 feet into G Street and making the addition 36 feet tall. Templin said the University will file its zoning application in mid-October.

The 2022 Mount Vernon Campus Plan outlines a plan to enclose the outdoor pool on that campus.

ANC sets guidelines for community input on Aston conversion into homeless shelter
The ANC voted 5-2-1 approving a resolution that will seek applications from the community to join a Community Advisory Team, which will provide feedback on the shelter for medically vulnerable unhoused people coming to The Aston, a former GW residence hall. The resolution establishes a ranked-choice voting system for commissioners to select applicants.

Applications will be due via Google Form 10 days after the form’s publishing, per the resolution.

2A06 Commissioner Joel Causey and 2A08 Commissioner Jordan Nassar opposed the resolution.

Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto said she intended the Community Advisory Team to ensure members of the community can continue to provide feedback on the shelter after it is established.

“It’s really important that we all remember our goal here, which is to make sure that this project is successful for everybody,” Pinto said. “And we have to treat one another with respect.”

The ANC adjourned its special July meeting after failing to appoint members to the team due to infighting and backlash from audience members.

ANC approves live music, art installation
Commissioners voted 6-0-2 approving an application by Eat Brgz — located at 1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW — to host live music Sunday through Thursday from 11 to 2 a.m. and 11 to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The ANC voted 5-0-3 supporting the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District’s proposed project to add steel canopies and stoop benches to the pocket park at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue, 19th Street and H Street NW. Patrick Revord, one of the speakers for the Golden Triangle BID, said the steel canopies will provide shade for the park and the benches will add visual interest and seating.

ANC approves financial report, previews budget for fiscal year 2024
Commissioners unanimously approved the financial report for the third quarter of 2023. The District provided ANC $5,968.78 in funds to the ANC during the quarter, according to the report.

Peter Sacco, the executive director for the ANC, said the expenditures included reimbursement for Commissioner Causey’s business cards, salary payments, Zoom account expenses and funding for a recent “overhaul” of the ANC’s website.

Sacco said the ANC’s fiscal year 2024 budget will total $24,777. He said this increased budget, compared to fiscal year 2023’s budget of $24,456, is due to the effects of the latest census and ANC redistricting.

MPD updates on escaped homicide suspect, announces decline in crime
Metropolitan Police Department Lieutenant Michael Howden said he has heard evidence that homicide suspect Christopher Haynes, who escaped GW Hospital earlier this month, is outside the District but is not “certain.” He said community members can check Nextdoor and AlertDC for information on emergency situations in the area.

Howden said total crime is up 18 percent and property crime up 69 percent in Foggy Bottom and West End compared to three months ago. He said total crime is down 31 percent over the last 30 days compared to the last 60 days, capturing the transition from the “crime-ier” summer months to the “more relaxed” fall months.

Howden said there has been “no progress” in the investigation into the April shooting in the Columbia Plaza apartment complex, which left the victim with non-life-threatening injuries. He said the case has gone “cold” because the victim remains “uncooperative.”

This post was updated to correct the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the name of Tanya Vogel. We regret this error.

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About the Contributor
Erika Filter, News Editor
Erika Filter is a senior majoring in international affairs from Carson City, Nevada. She leads the Metro beat as one of The Hatchet's 2023-2024 news editors and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Student Government beat.
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