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Panda Express coming to former Beefsteak location in late fall

Screenshot by Erika Filter
Officials speak on continued construction projects on campus.

A University official said Monday that a Panda Express will open in the space formerly held by Beefsteak in the late fall.

Karen Zinn, the associate vice president for the office of real estate, said at a University Campus Plan Advisory Committee meeting Monday that Panda Express will fill the space formerly used by Beefsteak on the corner of 22nd and I streets, which closed earlier this semester. A Beefsteak representative told Axios they chose not to renew their lease at GW, but the “José Andrés Group will continue to support” the restaurant’s brand.

University spokesperson Julia Metjian said when Panda Express opens, it will accept GWorld payments.

Spokespeople for Beefsteak and Panda Express did not immediately return requests for comment.

At the meeting, University officials also announced updates on the plan to arm GW Police Department officers. Here are some of the meeting’s highlights:

GWPD to begin final phase of arming implementation plan

GWPD Chief James Tate said his department has completed the arming of himself, Captain Gabe Mullinax and the department’s lieutenants, completing phases one and two of the arming implementation plan announced last year. He said the department will begin phase three, the arming of sergeants, once the Campus Safety Advisory Committee, which was announced alongside the arming of officers last year and includes students, faculty and staff, “is up and running.”

The committee will hold its first meeting next Thursday, according to emails obtained by The Hatchet.

Tate said his department is currently hiring corporals.

Officials to finalize alternative site for aquatic programs following Smith Center renovation

Brian Snyder, the interim assistant vice president of construction management and campus planning, said officials hope to finalize an alternative location for the aquatics program by the end of the week, with plans to to fill in the Smith Center pool — which is used by the club and varsity water polo and swimming and diving teams — around Labor Day.

“Apparently there’s a lot of extensive negotiations, and then differences of the pools that they’re looking for,” Snyder said.

Students in water sports said the planned removal of the Smith Center pool will complicate practice and meeting logistics because they will need to travel to a pool off campus. A petition last month demanding officials halt the project if they could not find a “suitable alternative” received more than 2,000 signatures.

The Board of Zoning will host a public hearing on the proposal April 22.

Officials beginning talks on campus plan update

Community Relations Director Kevin Days said there are “internal discussions” over the planned 2027 update to the Foggy Bottom Campus Plan, but he could not yet announce any updates publicly. GW formed the current campus plan in 2007, which is set to expire at the end of 2026 and lays out the acceptable use for GW structures.

Days said officials have yet to determine the length of the new plan, which could last anywhere between a decade and 20 years.

“That’s part of the process we’re undergoing now is to figure out exactly what kind of plan we want to ask for,” Days said.

Officials continue infrastructure improvement projects

Snyder said workers are continuing to waterproof the exterior of GW Law and will continue into next month.

He said one lane of I Street is scheduled to close between 21st and 22nd streets April 28, pending permitting. If the permit is approved, the road will be open by 2 p.m. He said personnel with flags will direct traffic. Snyder did not say why officials will partially close the street.

Snyder said the planned project to renovate I Street Mall is pending, based on funding. He said the Board of Trustees will meet to approve the fiscal year 2025 budget on May 17, and officials will move forward with the plans after securing funding.

Officials plan to conduct “major” landscaping, add lighting and reconfigure seating in the I Street Mall in response to community concerns about public health and safety, according to the project’s website.

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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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