What is Master Planning?

Master planning at Georgetown University is a collaborative, multi-year process to develop a vision that will guide investment in physical spaces that support future academic programs and a more vibrant living and learning campus. This process requires the university to comprehensively understand academic needs, the student life experience, existing physical spaces, and fiscal reality. 

As a Catholic and Jesuit, student-centered research university, Georgetown is exploring the issues facing higher education and planning for the future of the Georgetown curriculum. Master planning is the process to develop labs and research spaces, work and study spaces, and other academic spaces that support robust research and scholarship and strengthen the student experience. The Healey Family Student Center, the Thompson Athletic Center, and new residence halls are projects that will enhance the Georgetown student experience and better intergrate residential, academic, co-curricular, and social life. We are also planning for outdoor and green space, athletic and recreational space, graduate housing, transportation solutions, and energy conservation and sustainability initiatives for our campus.

Georgetown deeply values its historic Main Campus and through master planning is maximizing the use of existing buildings, addressing deferred maintenance needs, and developing new spaces on campus. We also acknowledge our limited space, and in order to strengthen our position as a top tier research institution, Georgetown is looking beyond these limitations to explore opportunities for careful expansion that benefit both the university and the District of Columbia.

To help the university accomplish its master planning goals, Georgetown has engaged the services of two of the most prestigious companies with expertise in public-private partnerships between cities and higher education institutions – Forest City Washington and Sasaki Associates. These experts are collecting data, assessing campus spaces, and helping the university identify opportunities for growth on campus and beyond the Hilltop. 

Master planning necessarily requires that we generate a range of ideas. Some of these ideas are ready to be implemented now, and construction is underway on some projects. Other ideas will change substantially before being buit. Still others will never become a reality. By engaging in an ongoing planning process, Georgetown can identify the best solutions for the future of our university.

As Washington, DC’s largest private employer and an anchor institution in the city, Georgetown recognizes our obligation to engage in responsible long-term planning in partnership with our community and our city. In July 2012, the university, community leaders, and the mayor of the District of Columbia announced a historic agreement on the university’s Campus Plan and the creation of the Georgetown Community Partnership as a forum for engaging community and city leaders in the university’s long term planning. The agreement created a short-term plan through 2017, followed by the development of a longer term, 20-year plan, with flexibility to adapt to changes in higher education and that serves university goals and the best interests of the city.

The participation of the entire Georgetown community – students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors and city officials – is essential to master planning. We encourage you to engage in the process and share your ideas for the future of Georgetown’s campus.