Two recent moves demonstrate the school’s new commitment to find space for it to grow elsewhere. On Thursday, officials from Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies finalized a deal to move that school and its more than 1,100 students to a 91,000-square-foot location in Mount Vernon Square, dubbed Georgetown Downtown.
This month, the school received bids from development companies interested in helping the school acquire and develop a new campus of as much as 100 acres — an addition potentially as large as its 104-acre main campus. Tops on the school’s list are sites at the eastern end of Capitol Hill and Poplar Point, a waterfront parcel abutting Anacostia.
This isn’t the first time Georgetown, the city’s largest private employer, has created campuses away from its original grounds. The law school has its own campus at Judiciary Square, and in 2005, Georgetown became one of the first American universities to open a campus in Qatar.
But although the campus plan process forced Georgetown to concede the limits it faces on the main campus, university officials have also come to appreciate opportunities in parts of the city that once might have held little appeal but today are in the throes of revitalization.
The continuing studies program will consolidate operations from the main campus and Clarendon, where Georgetown has leased space since 2004. The new location, on four floors at 650 Massachusetts Ave. NW, will host professionally based degree, certificate and non-degree programs beginning in fall 2013, according to Kristen Consolo, the school’s assistant dean for planning.
Consolo said the new location’s proximity to Metro lines and major employers provides convenience for students with jobs.
University President John J. DeGioia issued a statement comparing the new location to the law school campus.
“Just as the construction of our Law Center did 30 years ago, this new home provides us with an opportunity to extend the impact of the university into new parts of the city and to broaden the reach of our work,” he said.
During the more than two-year battle over a required update of the university campus plan, however, the school’s outlook began to evolve, said Ron Lewis, chair of the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission. School officials made concessions to neighbors furious at the partygoers wandering through their streets. The school agreed to provide housing for 450 more students on its current campus, but also to identify a large plot of land where it can grow over coming generations.