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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 5, 2006 | Vol. 36 No. 1
Charles Commons Opens Its Doors

Steven Knapp, Adam Falk, Nick Jones, Paula Burger and William R. Brody

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The light drizzle and threatening clouds might have moved the occasion indoors, but the elements had no chance of dampening the spirits of those gathered for the Sept. 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Charles Commons, the university's highly anticipated residential and retail complex located in Charles Village.

Construction began less than two years ago, and, despite some significant setbacks, Charles Commons stayed on track to welcome its first 618 residents on Sept. 4 and 5. The construction effort was down to the wire, however, as evidenced by crews working feverishly to put finishing touches on the 313,000-square-foot facility even while the ribbon-cutting was taking place in the building's Charles Street lobby.

On hand were President William R. Brody, Provost Steven Knapp, the Homewood deans and dozens of staff and students. Paula Burger, dean of undergraduate education, kicked off the event by acknowledging the many people who put their heart and soul into the stylish complex, which provides much-needed housing for Homewood upperclassmen.

Burger also reminded those gathered who the day's true VIPs were. "With all due to respect to the president and the deans, the really important people here today are these student representatives here behind me," said Burger, motioning to the group of students lined up behind her on the staircase. "This truly wonderful facility is for them."

The official dedication of the building will be held sometime in October. The 29,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble bookstore on the facility's ground floor is expected to open that month as well.


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