Georgetown University to Expand to Old Walter Reed Grounds?

Georgetown University continues its search for additional campus space. This week, it will appear before a local advisory neighborhood commission July 18 to present its potential use of the remaining area of the now-closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as explained by its COO, provost and medical school dean.

On 16th Street, NW, Walter Reed was located at 6900 Georgia Ave., NW. In August 2011, it moved its operations to Bethesda Naval Hospital. Part of the land is now used by the State Department, but the District controls 66.5 acres fit for redevelopment for offices, housing, shopping -- and school buildings.

Developer Forest City Washington is partnered with the university and will make the pitch to the ANC that involves graduate programs and other uses, such as working with non-profits.

The following is the university's statement by Christopher Augostini, senior vice president and chief operating officer; Robert Groves, executive vice president of main campus and provost; Howard Federoff, M.D., executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine:

Over the past year, Georgetown University has been engaged in a comprehensive master planning process. While recognizing that our historic main campus has limited space, we believe that future growth is necessary for our institutional health and sustainability.

Our integrated master planning process includes carefully looking at our options for growth as we develop a strategic vision for the future of our academic programs.

Opportunities are arising for growth and development in various parts of the District of Columbia and the surrounding metro area. We believe it is essential for us to position ourselves to look carefully at every opportunity for growth as we continue to learn and clarify our future needs. Our goal is to understand more about these opportunities as they become available, even as we clarify the activities we might undertake on future.

We believe Georgetown University is positioned to be a strong partner in meaningfully contributing to Washington in these coming years. We are engaged in constant conversation with the District about how we can best partner with them as they redevelop properties across the city that were once home to large federal programs and agencies.

As we move forward, you will likely hear that we are engaged in exploring various sites around the District. One such opportunity is the redevelopment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center in upper northwest Washington. There, the District has announced that the State Department will occupy part of the space and is soliciting development partners to re-imagine the remaining space. This is a tremendously important project for the District of Columbia and a possible development opportunity with many benefits for the university to explore.

The District has solicited developers to make presentations for Walter Reed. Forest City Washington has asked Georgetown University to partner on a proposal that includes exploring the possibility of expanding the university’s graduate education activities, research facilities, collaborations with private sector firms, and potentially other non profit and government entities to both accommodate growth and provide a catalyst for broader collaborations. This site has the potential to be a campus for innovation that could combine our institutional strengths with private sector, non-profit and other institutional entities, all focused on developing ideas and solutions for next generation global problem-solving.

While we are not far enough along in our master planning to determine specifically what programs and activities we would undertake at Walter Reed, we believe it is in the best interest of our institution to explore this potential partnership. As such, we will make a proposal with Forest City Washington to the District, which will be presented at a public meeting next Thursday at a meeting hosted by the local Advisory Neighborhood Commission near Walter Reed. Should we proceed in this process, we look forward to working with all of you to help invent and evaluate alternative uses of Walter Reed.

The city has also made clear their goal to develop areas in the south and the east of the District of Columbia. For example, the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is a site that may hold opportunity for consideration by Georgetown University. Additional opportunities east of the river may present in the future, and we will continue the conversation with the city regarding other development opportunities.

We wanted you to be aware of our engagement in these potential opportunities in the weeks and months ahead. We look forward to continuing our master planning work and are grateful for your continued participation and support in this important process. While all master planning activities require thinking far ahead of the easily foreseeable future, real decisions regarding academic uses of space must be taken with wide input from all the Georgetown community. We welcome your thoughts and comments at any time.

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Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:58:46 -0400

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