Faculty and students of the College of William and Mary’s English department will soon migrate back to their original home on campus, now gutted for repairs.
After an injection of last-minute funding from the Virginia General Assembly; St. George Tucker Hall renovations will resume this academic year, bringing the building up to current regulatory standards. After the renovations are complete, the displaced English department will move back into the Old Library in the spring of 2013.
Vice President of the Office of Administration Anna B. Martin discussed the logistics of the renovations.
“Our budget is $12.1 million from the state of Virginia. The building hasn’t been renovated since the 1980s and needed to be redone,” Martin said.
College President Taylor Reveley described the nature of the renovations.
“The building will be renovated to meet current regulatory requirements, especially for fire suppression and disability access. Its systems (for instance, heating and cooling) will be completely overhauled,” Reveley said. “Cutting-edge technology will be installed in the classrooms, and they will be reconfigured in ways more suitable for the current era.”
Reveley also mentioned the advantages the College community will see from these long-awaited renovations.
“A building at the heart of the campus will be totally reinvigorated, to the great benefit of the campus community,” he said. “Take a look at Small Hall for a recent example of what total reinvigoration can do for one of our important but elderly campus facilities.”
Professor Susan Donaldson, chair of the English department, is very excited about the department’s move back into Tucker.
“We have been waiting for this for a long time. It’s been very hard to move over 50 professors and their books .… We’re all looking forward to move back into a building designed specifically for the English department,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson described some of the systemic improvements of Tucker Hall that the English students and professors will see from the renovations.
“There will be more classroom space for [the English department.] It has been very hard to schedule classes without the benefit of Tucker Hall’s classrooms,” Donaldson said.
Members of the College community—faculty and students alike — appear to be very pleased about the upgrades scheduled for Tucker Hall after two years of inactivity.
“It’s always great to make new, creative use of an old, familiar place on campus,” Reveley said.
Donaldson commented on the importance to the English department moving back into their home.
“It’ll help solidify our sense of community again,” Donaldson said.