Tucker Hall could soon see the familiar sights of scaffolding and construction for a renovation to meet the needs of 21st-century students.
p. College officials are currently working to secure a solid capital budget from the General Assembly for Tucker’s renovation.
Tucker, currently labeled by the College as in poor condition, was last renovated in 1967, when the law school occupied the building.
Proposed changes include a complete overhaul of all the indoor plumbing and heating systems, refurbishment of classroom materials and renovations to the exterior.
p. One of the most important additions would be to make the building conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Currently, Tucker is labeled as a building with limited accessibility for students with disabilities. Changes would include various handicap accessible ramps and a four-stop elevator, among others.
p. Some renovation changes have already taken place, such as the replacement of half the windows last year.
p. Tucker, originally meant to house the College’s library, was built in 1908 making it one of the oldest buildings on campus. Because of its age, renovation would be both complex and challenging.
p. “The design alone [would] take 18 months,” Anna Martin, vice president of administration at the College, said. “It’s a complicated building to renovate. It’s old and has six different levels.” Martin is one of the many officials working to secure a capital budget Tucker’s renovation is part of the Six Year Plan for capital projects, established in 2005 by the College in compliance with state law. The plan binds the College to renovate and modernize several buildings on campus. Tucker was selected as a primary candidate for renovation in the first biennium period of the plan.
p. “It’s been on the books for a long time,” Martin said.
Martin added that neither the cost nor the approximate date of renovation could not be ascertained until the General Assembly passes a capital budget plan for the next fiscal year April 23. Only then can proper money be allocated for the renovation of any projects to be completed via the Six Year Plan.
p. Moreover, the College also operates upon two different budgets, the capital budget and the operating budget. The capital budget is money allocated by the state for items of renovation or construction, while the operating budget allocates money for various programs, which include such programs as faculty pay and student club funds. Since Gov. Kaine’s recent budget cuts affected only the operating budget, Martin said that the cuts should not have an effect on the quality, nor the quantity, of renovations for any of the College buildings.
p. However, Martin did mention that the passage of an adequate capital budget is integral if the College is to keep using Tucker in the future.
p. “It’s an old building in poor condition and is in very much need of renovation,” she said.