The College of William and Mary Board of Visitors’ recent decision to purchase the property at 406 Jamestown Road may bring changes for the students who reside there. The BOV approved the purchase of two buildings at its meetings last week.
Current tenant Miles Drawdy ’14 noted the house has been utilized recently by theater students due to the house’s proximity to Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall across the street.
“You could leave here two minutes before rehearsal and still get to it on time, and so that’s been, I think, the biggest benefit of the house,” Drawdy said. “Plus, you don’t have to drive and you don’t have to worry about having a car and the logistics of that.”
According to the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily, the Scotland Street Association offered the property to the College as part of a $1.5 million package with another building at 427 Scotland Street, which the College intends to use for the AidData Center for Development Policy. The value of the property at 406 Jamestown Road is unknown, but public listings of properties nearby suggest it is somewhere in the $300,000 to $500,000 range.
Vice President for Administration Anna Martin revealed the College purchased the property without a specific use for the building in mind.
“We are aware that it is currently being occupied by students and their lease will be honored,” Martin said in an email. “We have not yet determined what the ultimate use will be. … There are multiple potential uses for the house. Until we own it, evaluate it and determine how it fits into our master planning, we will not make that decision.”
Martin emphasized that it is normal for the College to acquire excess property and that the College’s purchase of the property does not mean the current student tenants will be forced out as soon as the deal is finalized. Martin also said the property was thoroughly inspected to ensure the compatibility of the house with College needs.
“We have people who need space all the time … we would go through our usual process of space management and allocation and decide the most appropriate use for it,” Martin said. “It will not sit vacant. Whether it will be student rental or something else, we just haven’t decided yet.”
While Drawdy has already secured alternative housing further away from campus, he hopes the College puts the building to good use.
“I wish that there was still a facility around and closer to campus to house theater students, since that is somewhat of a concern,” Drawdy said. “But I wouldn’t be surprised to see that start up again in a couple of years with someone in a house closer to campus than what I’ll have next year.”