With graduation just around the corner for some students, I think it’s time we finally confront some of The College of William and Mary’s most bizarre spaces.
Let’s start with the Colonial Parkway. First of all, the fact that the Colonial Parkway is still a functioning road that somehow does not have any safety precautions or lighted pathways terrifies me. One would think that after there was a literal Colonial Parkway serial killer years ago, there would be more care put into making such roads feel like you aren’t entering the tunnel into a realm straight from “Spirited Away.” The bumpy texture, unmarked divides and lack of any life other than the occasional red-eyed deer make even the simplest of College Creek trips a thriller.
Another mysterious and unspoken place on campus is the entirety of Lake Matoaka. This includes both Matoaka amphitheaters, the art gallery and remnants of obstacles used for Tribe Adventure Program classes. It has always been strange to me that out of a school of nearly 7,000 students, I never see a fellow student walking through Matoaka at the same time as me. In addition, the area itself is quiet and curious. Rumor has it that years ago there was a party house in the woods, and the brick remnants of the building are still there; however, now it seems almost like a barren wasteland full of adventure and wonder. Despite all of its wonder, Matoaka continues to be an enigma of the campus.
Finally, I would like to bring up the fact that the old Student Health Center continues to be used by the school. I know because I was a part of the first class to use the space last semester.
The prospect of reusing an old building would be fine, if not for the fact that this used to house thousands of ill students. Though our class was only using the main lobby as our classroom, the rest of the Health Center is relatively the same – as in beds and desks and tools are still left in old offices. Our class often required us to stay until late hours and near the end of the semester the heating stopped working, so we were stuck in a frozen tundra that was once the Health Center.
Similar to the half-finished One Tribe Place, it seems to be a pattern of the College to continue to allow students into spaces that are half finished and questionably healthy.
Whether you are aware of them or not, it should be known that all of these cursed places exist 24/7 on our campus and will continue to exist for a long time. So next time, if you are wondering why Williamsburg is so dated, take a look around, and you will see that the past still fails to catch up to our present.