University of the District of Columbia New Student Center

Chartered in 1974, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is the city’s only fully-accredited public higher education institution. For this project, Forrester Construction and its joint venture partner, Parkinson Construction, built a new 80,000 square foot student center at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street in Northwest Washington, DC. In addition to serving as a gateway to the UDC campus, the center provides a host of amenities for the university’s more than 5,000 students. The building offers restaurant and dining facilities, financial services, study and meeting spaces as well as event and entertainment venues. Students can visit the 10,000 square foot fitness center, host events in the conference center and ballroom or stock up on supplies in the bookstore and other retail spaces. It also houses a number of important support organizations including student government, campus life and career center offices.

The facility is the first student union in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum certification. Sustainable architectural features include a green roof and two central atria that allow daylighting. The building also has a rain garden and bio-rentention facilities that mitigate and measure water use to prevent excess into the city’s drainage system.

Project Location:

Washington, DC


Cannon Design
Marshall/Moya Architects


80,000 SF


Associated General Contractors of Washington Contractor Award of Merit

ENR MidAtlantic Best Regional Projects Award of Merit

Washington Building Congress Craftsmanship Award

LEED Platinum