W&M announces comprehensive accommodation and catering facilities plan

Chandler Hall, a residence hall located on the former campus of William & Mary (Courtesy of William & Mary)

WILLIAMSBURG – William & Mary on Thursday unveiled a comprehensive long-term plan to modernize and revitalize its residential and dining facilities. The 10-year project is part of an overall strategy to address aging housing and restaurants and ensure they advance the integration of campus life and learning.

“A student-friendly residential experience is essential to a William & Mary education,” said President Katherine A. Rowe. “In line with the Vision 2026 goal of ‘Evolving to Excel’, we will move from planning to implementation this spring. Our goal is to ensure that university accommodation and restaurants strengthen the academic mission of William & Mary for generations to come.

The plan, which aligns with the university’s sustainability goals, will be carried out in three phases, vice president of student affairs Ginger Ambler and chief operating officer Amy Sebring shared with the board of visitors.

In addition to on-campus improvements, the plan envisions a new campus entrance on Jamestown Road that connects Colonial Williamsburg, the City of Williamsburg, and the campus. When complete, the new and updated facilities will provide accommodation capacity equal to current levels, Ambler and Sebring said, adding that the plan will also allow W&M to meet its goal of 100% air-conditioned rooms in student accommodation. .

According to national studies, students who live in dormitories build stronger relationships with classmates, are more engaged with professors and advisers, and are exposed to a wider range of ideas and cultures.

“Residential living contributes to student success, as well as an increased sense of community at William & Mary,” said Ambler. “Our residence halls provide students with daily opportunities to engage with diverse people from around the world. Together, they practice democratic ideals through self-government and nurture friendships, many of which are lifelong. This plan of facilities will ensure that we provide the best possible learning and living spaces for our students.

In line with the overall goals of the 2015 Campus Master Plan, the most recent planning has focused directly on how best to meet student needs while living and learning on campus.

At the end of the three-phase 10-year plan, housing and dining facilities will include these highlights. (Courtesy of Brailsford & Dunlavey and VMDO)

The phased approach takes into account the smart enrollment growth plan already underway and provides predictable residential capacity even if the university decommissions housing for renovations. As previously announced, William & Mary is integrating approximately 600 additional undergraduate students into its four-year enrollment totals by 2025. In total, the facilities plan will overhaul 80% of the university’s housing inventory, either by replacement or by renovation, as well as offering two modern dining rooms.

William & Mary will use a multi-faceted approach to develop and fund different aspects of the plan through a combination of traditional university funding, leveraging its relationship with the William & Mary Real Estate Foundation and seeking public-private partnerships with third-party developers.

“This plan is an essential part of the university’s broader vision for the future of campus, including the goals outlined in the Climate Action Roadmap,” Sebring said. “This is a long-term strategy that ensures that the excellence of our students’ experience in the classroom matches the excellence in their living environment.

Ambler and Sebring presented the plan at a joint meeting Thursday of the administration, buildings and grounds committee; student experience committee; and Ad Hoc Committee on Organizational Sustainability and Innovation as part of the university’s April Visitors’ Council meeting. The board will consider a resolution on Friday backing the plan. The resolution recognizes the importance of the student residential experience at W&M, the advancement of the university’s environmental sustainability goals, and the benefit of seeking new funding alternatives to reduce costs.

Project Phase 1 approval and capital improvement plan updates are expected to be presented to council for approval in September. Subsequent actions to approve funding agreements, ground leases and related terms, as required, would then be presented to the board for approval over the following year.

The three phases of the plan will be carried out over 10 years:

Stage 1

Phase 1 includes the renovation of the Old Dominion and Monroe rooms; the construction of a new dormitory to complete the planned triangle of Lemon and Hardy rooms; demolition of Yates Hall to build new on-campus housing called West 1, construction of a new West Campus restaurant, demolition of Campus Center; and the replacement of the Green and Gold Village and Commons Dining Hall. The cost of Phase 1 is estimated at $234 million, leveraging W&M’s expertise for the renovation of Old Dominion and Monroe and using a public-private partnership for the construction of new facilities.

Phase 2

Phase 2 involves redevelopment of the current Campus Center site to include new student housing construction, dining hall, admissions office, and bookstore, as well as redevelopment of the Randolph Complex site for a new dormitory; redevelop the site of Richmond Hall; new real estate development; the modernization of One Tribe Place and the demolition of the Botetourt complex. Phase 2 is estimated to cost $350 million based on programming, design and schedule. A partnership with the W&M Real Estate Foundation will be used for the Campus Center site, the replacement of Richmond Hall and future real estate development with a public-private partnership planned for the West Campus housing site.

Phase 3

Phase 3 involves developing student housing on a West Campus site to be determined, renovating four residence halls – Barrett, Jefferson, Bryan and the Sorority Complex, as well as renovating the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Graduate Complex and demolishing DuPont Lobby. Phase 3 costs are projected to be between $100 million and $200 million using a public-private partnership for new construction.

This story is brought to WYDaily readers courtesy of William & Mary.

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