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AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Officials to divvy $25 million for residence hall renovations over 5 years

An+overhead+light+shines+on+a+District+House+kitchenette.+
Sage Russell | Assistant Photo Editor
An overhead light shines on a District House kitchenette.

Officials plan to overhaul residence halls across campus over the next five years in a slew of multimillion-dollar renovations, highlighted by the removal or upgrade of kitchens in three residence halls.

Baxter Goodly, the senior associate vice president of facilities planning, construction and management for the Division of Safety and Facilities, announced last month at a Student Association meeting that the University has budgeted $25 million over the next five years to remove kitchens in FSK Hall to make room for more beds, upgrade kitchens in Amsterdam Hall and replace a quarter of the kitchens on Townhouse Row. Officials also plan to upgrade rooms in Amsterdam and repair heating and cooling systems in Amsterdam and FSK, according to Goodly’s report.

Officials will also install new windows in The Dakota, Guthridge and Somers halls, upgrade and repair HVAC systems in District House and Guthridge, renovate bathrooms in Somers and JBKO Hall, and modernize elevators in Guthridge and Mitchell Hall. Fulbright Hall will also receive a new roof and The Dakota and Guthridge will undergo waterproofing, according to the report.

University spokesperson Julia Metjian said officials have not determined how the University will disperse the $25 million across different projects and that the decision to remove kitchens to add beds in FSK is not “final.” She said officials will replace countertops in kitchens and bedrooms in Amsterdam and add new bathroom faucets and flooring.

Metjian said officials are replacing 25 percent of the kitchens on Townhouse Row because of the “normal renovation cycle.” She said officials replaced kitchens in Townhouses A and B last summer and will replace kitchens in Townhouses C and D next summer.

Metjian said the renovations will likely occur during the summer because student occupancy is lower. Metjian said the projects are still in the planning phases.

Students expressed mixed feelings on the facilities plans, with students in FSK saying they don’t want officials to remove their kitchens and students in other residence halls saying they welcome the new renovations.

George Courtemanche, a junior in FSK, said he values kitchens for students on financial aid because the meal plans are “ridiculously overpriced” for “not great” food.

“Making rice and chicken is going to be cheaper than paying $16 for a meal swipe,” Courtemanche said.

Officials announced plans in August 2021 to open dining halls in Thurston and Shenkman halls, which debuted in October 2022 and January respectively, and shift the University from a dining dollar-based meal system for groceries and GWorld dining vendors to an all-you-care-to-eat meal system at dining halls.

The University now offers five meal plans, including an unlimited GWorld meal swipe plan with $200 in dining dollars for all students, an unlimited flex GWorld meal swipe plan with $800 in dining dollars for sophomores, juniors and seniors and three block meal plans with less meal swipes and more dining dollars for juniors and seniors. The five meal plans range from $2,060 to $2,800 per semester.

Sofia Khugaeva, a junior who lives in FSK, said officials should instead use the budget to address accessibility problems in FSK. She said the entrance’s handicap button sometimes doesn’t work. A Residence Hall Association and Student Association report in April found that 17 residence halls had accessibility issues, including FSK.

“Instead of getting rid of the kitchens in FSK, what they need to do is literally make it accessible,” Khugaeva said.

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