Major campus projects under construction to improve infrastructure and student life

Major campus projects under construction to improve infrastructure and student life

Major campus projects under construction to improve infrastructure and student life


Chick-fil-A Rendering

A rendering of the Chick-fil-A restaurant, which will be located at the Van Ness Campus.


The Office of Facilities & Real Estate Management (OFREM) has several projects underway to improve UDC’s various campuses, including structural redevelopment and improvement of the Van Ness and Backus/Old Congress Heights Campuses and new Chick-fil-A and Fuddruckers restaurants in the Student Center. The projects are expected to be completed between now and 2024.

Headed by OFREM Vice President Javier Dussan, OFREM is responsible for the maintenance and operations of all real property assets. The primary goal of Facilities Management is to provide customer-driven support, cost-effective planning and sustainable approaches to facility maintenance and operations. Real Estate Services supports the academic community by acquiring, renovating, and leasing spaces throughout the District.

One of the most anticipated projects is the kitchen renovation at the Van Ness Student Center. The work includes constructing and installing two main kitchen areas, a catering kitchen, food storage, food preparation and customer services areas. Two hugely popular restaurants, Chick-Fil-A and Fuddruckers, will be added to support the cafeteria. Students will also continue to benefit from value meal deals from the University’s partnership with Perkins Food Service. The expected completion date is spring 2023.

The Van Ness Campus library relocation is another highly-anticipated project, expected to be completed in the summer of 2023.

Library Rendering

A rendering of the newly renovated UDC Library entrance at the Van Ness Campus.

OFREM is renovating the entire B Level of Buildings 38 and 39 to complete the relocation of the main library from Building 41, including the Center for Advanced Learning (CAL). The renovations include infrastructure upgrades, including the HVAC systems, LED lighting and state-of-the-art AV/IT technology.

In addition to the main library area, flexible spaces will be provided for studying, team meetings and IT video production. The design also includes sites for artwork displays, wayfinding graphics, and University messaging. The goal is to promote a culture of collaboration and interdisciplinary learning that will become integral to the Student Center.

Another project includes replacing the existing grass athletic field with artificial turf and NCAA soccer and lacrosse markings at the EB Henderson Sports Complex. With an expected completion date of spring 2023, it will have a direct economic impact by having a regulation-sized soccer field and lacrosse field available for varsity sports and local sports leagues.

“Replacing the existing field lights with efficient energy lights will reduce the energy costs for this revenue-generating facility,” said Dussan. “The project will further the University’s commitment to supporting community partnerships.”

The NIH bio-medical laboratory renovation, expected to be completed in spring 2024, will create a novel, modernized and distinctive biomedical research facility. Through the “Creating a Specialized Technological center for Assistive Rehabilitation Research (STAR)” project the University will be equipped to function as a national hub, beacon and gold-standard facility for rehabilitation-related research focused on aging and impaired populations.

The STAR facility will serve as a Center for Biomechanical and Rehabilitation Engineering comprised of several laboratories. The goal is to create an environment that fosters research-driven specialized technological services focused on biomechanical and rehabilitation engineering-related research, a critical need.

The renovation of 4250 Connecticut Avenue (Bldg. 71) is also on the list. The University officially acquired the 225,000 square feet of the former office building in the spring of 2020. It has been utilized mainly to relocate CAS and other functions, including OIT, from Bldg. 41, CAUSES faculty and staff from Bldg. 44 and as swing space in support of capital projects.

The University is now in the planning and early design stages of a complete renovation of the entire building with the goal of it becoming the academic hub of the Van Ness Campus. The renovation will upgrade the building’s infrastructure while providing modernized teaching and learning environments that will give students and faculty a centralized and collaborative atmosphere. The expected competition date is fall 2024.

This building also has retail spaces and MOM’s Organic Market will be located on the ground level. MOM’s is a Rockville-based natural and organic grocery store focused on sustainable and healthy consumerism. The UDC Board of Trustees approved the lease on June 29, 2021, and UDC President Ronald Mason Jr. signed it on June 30. MOM’s will occupy more than 16,000 square feet of retail space with 85 exclusive parking spaces in the parking garage off Windom Place.

Over at the Backus/Old Congress Heights Campuses, OFREM will improve infrastructure by renovating specialized classroom facilities and multi-use areas to enhance the program capabilities at the Community College. The project is currently in a planning and design development phase, with construction to begin in the second quarter of FY23. The renovations will include nursing lab improvements, including a simulation center, Library/Learning Resources Division space, Apple & Cisco Labs and Office Electrical & IT upgrades at Old Campus Heights.

Dussan said he and his team are happy all the projects, once paused due to COVID-19, are now underway.

“We expect these significant renovations will be successful and impactful,” he said. “These projects will uphold the University’s goals in sustainability, community connectivity, and pursuit of excellence in education.”