Change is always in the air at Longwood University, with multiple construction projects going on at the same time. Louise Waller, vice president for administration and finance, and Matt McWilliams, assistant vice president and associate editor for Longwood Magazine, provided updates on all of the construction work going on.
Arc Hall, Longwood’s functionally oldest residence hall, has been closed since the summer to do maintenance work. Waller confirmed that Arc will remain closed the rest of the academic year and likely into the fall semester in order to continue the work. As of right now, there is not a projected date as to when the building will re-open for student use.
The other residence hall that is currently closed, Curry, will officially re-open for student use in August for the 2020-2021 academic year. Curry has been closed since May 2019 in order to refurbish it, just like how Frazer was closed the year prior. Curry is actually ahead of schedule, and Waller said that the work on Curry has been easier than what they experienced with Frazer.
She said, “There were a lot of lessons learned on Frazer that they were able to apply to Curry.” She noted that although Curry is ahead of schedule, the building will not open until August.
A project that the university has been working on for a while is the construction of a new academic building, which will be across from French Hall on Venable St. This building will be the new home for the communication studies department, as well as multiple other departments such as neurostudies. It will have classrooms, offices, labs and study space for students to utilize. It is slated to open in the fall of 2020 for student use.
The university is also working on a multi-phase project, involving the construction of new tennis courts and a new convocation center. In April 2019, philanthropist Joan Brock ‘64 contributed $15 million to the university to go towards building a convocation center, located in the heart of campus where the tennis courts are.
In order to begin this process, the university changed their parking design in order to accommodate the construction of the new tennis courts on Wynne Dr. The tennis courts are currently being built, and once they are finished, construction will get underway on the new convocation center.
Waller said, “What is truly special about this building is that this is going to be a building that everyone on this campus and in this community is going to enjoy.”
The building will be 64,000 square feet, and will become the new home for Longwood’s basketball programs. As of now, construction is slated to break ground in the spring, with a completion date of summer 2022.
McWilliams said on the amount of construction happening, “A campus that is always building and growing and evolving is a healthy campus. That is one that is looking to the future instead of just staying where they are now.”
As far as future projects go, the university is planning on constructing a new facilities building in Midtown, creating a new academic building for music majors and doing infrastructure projects on main campus.