January 10, 2020
Administrators at groundbreaking ceremony for dining hall

Facilities staff and contractors have been working hard to advance our design and construction projects as well as continually keep our buildings and grounds safe and accessible for students, faculty, and staff.

With momentum gaining on construction projects, we need to remind everyone in our campus community that SAFETY COMES FIRST.  Please be mindful of barricades, fencing, detours, and instructions communicated on signs and through email announcements. In order to ensure safety for all, we reiterate that only facilities and construction personnel are allowed inside fenced enclosures.

Here are some project updates:

  • Dining Commons: The detailed design of the Dining Commons is underway and the construction contractor is preparing the site for the next phase.

    Magner Hall was demolished in November and best practices for sustainable disposal of waste are being followed: all masonry waste will be transported to an aggregate recycling facility for 100% re-use; all metal debris will be transported to a metal scrap yard for 100% recycling; all concrete waste will be transported to a concrete recycling facility for 100% re-use. All other construction debris will be transported to a sorting facility and placed on the ground for the sorting process to begin. Wood, plastic and paper products will be sorted and recycled.  A minimum of 75% of waste will be diverted from the landfill, with an average recycling goal of 90%. 

    On a rainy day in early December, a groundbreaking event was held. There will be several months of utility relocations and site preparation before excavation for the lower level of the building begins in the Spring of 2020. The Dining Commons is expected to be operational in 2022.

  • New Residence Halls:  Two new residence halls with a total of 350 new beds are being designed for the space east of Opus on John McCormack Road. The complex will house traditional-style double occupancy rooms for first year students. Currently in the schematic design phase, the residence halls are scheduled to open in 2022. 

  • New Nursing Building:  A programming and feasibility study was completed in November 2019 for a new home for the Conway School of Nursing. The building will be located between O’Connell Hall and the 7th Street entrance to the University. Design work is expected to begin in early 2020.

  • Sustainability Program:  Several sustainability initiatives and events took place over the Fall 2019 semester including:  
    • the launch of a revamped sustainability website
    • Instagram (@cuasustainability) and Twitter (@green_cua)
    • CatholicU received Bronze certification as a Bicycle Friendly University 
    • Facilities hosted a Campus Sustainability tour 
    • CatholicU joined the Better Buildings Challenge run by the US Department of Energy.  

  • Energy Project Phase I has been completed!

  • Energy Project Phase II: Trenching and installation of hot and chilled water piping to the north end of campus is well underway and this phase is expected to conclude in Fall 2020 in time for the 2020-2021 heating season. Work is now taking place both around and inside buildings including Regan, Ryan, the Millenniums, Kane, and Aquinas.  

  • Laboratory Upgrades and Improvements: During 2019, two lab spaces on the lower level of McCort-Ward were fully renovated into a new teaching lab for Chemistry. The renovated space is fully functional and ready for use in the Spring 2020 semester.

  • Caldwell Hall: The windows were restored and replaced on historic Caldwell Hall over the summer. The doors were replaced over Christmas Break. Planning and design for the replacement of the Seton Wing windows is underway. 

  • Fire Safety: The University established a multi-year life safety and fire protection program to protect all campus facilities with fire alarm notification systems and water based fire-sprinkler suppression systems. Residential facilities are complete. Mullen Library was upgraded with an enhanced fire detection system several years ago. The remaining academic and administrative facilities are prioritized by an evaluation of building construction, occupancy, and usage. Ward Hall will be the next campus building to receive fire protection systems with work beginning in Summer 2020. 
Please contact the Equal Opportunity Officer (faculty and staff: 202-319-4177), Office of Disability Support Services (students: 202-319-5211), or Compliance Officer (guests and general: 202-319-6170) for any concerns or needs regarding accessibility on campus.