UDC held its quarterly Community Campus Task Force meeting on Thursday, October 3rd to provide updates on the construction of the student center and student housing. Leading the meeting were Barbara Jumper, the vice president of UDC Real Estate and Facilities; Erik Thompson, Capital Construction’s senior project manager; and Valerie L. Epps, the vice president of Student Affairs. In attendance were ANC 3F Commissioners Perry, Gresham, Priniotakis and Ray; ANC 3F Van Ness Vision Committee members Larry Rausch and David Bardin; and other members of the community.
UDC announced that the completion of the Student Center will be delayed until the spring of 2015. That was the bad news for the neighbors, who voiced their displeasure. But there was good news, as well. Commissioner Mary Beth Ray reports: “The landscaping and public space fronting Connecticut Avenue will incorporate ‘green’ design elements such as pervious pavement, a double row of trees planted in structural soil, and rain gardens. The building will be LEED platinum certified, and like other UDC buildings, it will contain a green roof.”
UDC will present new renderings of the Student Center with landscape plans at the November 19th ANC meeting. Also, renderings will be placed on the enclosed walkway at the construction site, as well as a bulletin board including UDC news and student artwork. And for the curious, peep holes will be provided to view the construction as it progresses.
Then came the issue of housing UDC students, who have been put up in nearby Archstone apartment buildings. Commissioner Perry reiterated her ongoing concern about disruptive students in her own building. UDC informed her that some of those students are now being housed in another apartment building. But UDC still wishes to a build a dormitory. UDC hopes to obtain city funding and a suitable on-campus location that does not compromise security of the surrounding embassies.
Neighbors continued to express concern over the lack of timely information about the construction and plans for the new dormitory. UDC officials promised to keep the community better informed through email, local media, bulletin boards and social media.
Members of the Van Ness Vision Committee were delighted with the news from Barbara Jumper that UDC is talking to brokers to solicit retail tenants for their Class A retail space on the ground floor of the law school at 4200 Connecticut, the building that houses Acacia. And more good news followed. The newly renovated auditorium will be ready for business late November and available for community events for a fee. During such events and any event that UDC hosts, attendees are encouraged to park in the garage with rates that are cheaper than meters.
As for planning for UDC’s future, the Board of Trustees are attending a retreat this week to work on and adopt a strategic plan. They will post this plan on their website and present it to the Mayor and City Council for approval.
Please check UDC.edu about upcoming events, such as their homecoming weekend, and for updates on the effects of the government shutdown on city services, including the university. For now, though, UDC operations are paid for as long as the District can draw from its reserves.