Thursday, the Board of Visitors’ Committee on Administration, Buildings and Grounds discussed construction projects involving VIMS and the College of William and Mary’s campus. The committee also passed a resolution to forego any deed restrictions on property once owned by the College.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Samuel Jones ’75, M.B.A. ’80 discussed ongoing construction and projects currently in planning stages on campus.
Ongoing construction projects include phase three of the Integrated Science Center, Tyler Hall, Zable Stadium, Chandler Hall, the Pi Beta Phi sorority house and the Plumeri Batting Facility.
Jones noted that Zable Stadium should be completed before the first football game of the 2016 season. The construction on Chandler Hall should be completed this July — the hall will house 150 students. The sorority house’s construction, estimated to end by this June, took longer than expected due to structural issues within the house. The construction of the Plumeri Batting Facility, set for completion this September, is one part of the plan to convert the Dillard Complex to an athletics complex.
Jones commented on the challenges of working on buildings that have not been touched in decades.
“Of course, these buildings were built in the 1930s,” Jones said. “The rooms are a certain size … Under new code, we need to make handicap accessible rooms and other types of things … just one of the challenges of dealing with older facilities.”
Additional construction projects in the planning stages involve One Tribe Place, the Law School experiential learning center and a basketball practice facility.
Since February’s meeting, the Muscarelle Museum, Alumni House, basketball practice facility and Dillard track and field complex have moved to the Board of Visitors’ approval-only list because the projects are all privately funded. The estimated total cost of the projects is about $82 million.
The Virginia General Assembly assisted the College financially with its construction projects by agreeing to sell $10 million worth of bonds on the College’s behalf. Part of the funds will go toward the Integrative Wellness Center, outlined in the Master Plan, and $1.5 million will go toward the west campus utility plant.
Dean and Director of VIMS John Wells updated the committee on the progress of construction at VIMS. Active projects include the replacement of a research vessel, a new consolidated scientific research facility, the replacement of the facilities management building and the replacement of the oyster research hatchery. The projects will cost an estimated $50.58 million total.
The oyster research done at VIMS brings in about $200,000, which is invested to keep the program going from sale of seeds to the Chesapeake Bay.
Chair of the Committee on Administration, Buildings and Grounds Ann Green Baise and Vice Chair of the Committee on Administration, Buildings and Grounds John Thomas shared concerns about the appearance of the VIMS construction projects but reported some façade changes will be made to the designs.
“As the architect said, we’re trying to get these buildings to speak the same language,” Thomas said.
Wells discussed the General Assembly’s financial contributions to these construction projects. VIMS received $850,000 for the facilities management building, $850,000 to equip the consolidated scientific research facility and maintenance reserve funds, which are handled centrally.
Jones also spoke about the deed restrictions on property on College Terrace. The College owned the ten acres in College Terrace in the 1930s and placed deed restrictions about its use during that time.
Jones became aware of the deed restriction after a title company, which was building a house on a vacant lot on College Terrace, noticed the deed restrictions. The resolution Jones introduced recognizes that the College retains no interest in those properties built on College Terrace and approves the release of the property.
“If I thought we were giving away money, we would not have this resolution,” Baise said.
The committee passed the resolution unanimously.