August 07, 2012
The summer is a busy time for campus renovations and improvements and the summer of 2012 is no exception.
The largest project was the complete renovation of F-Dorm into "apartment" units with living room and kitchen space (refrigerators not yet installed) adjacent to two or three bedrooms. When complete, living room spaces are furnished with sofa, table, and side chairs. The renovation and furnishings were a $1.3 million project and will provide upgraded housing for 23 students.
The second major renovation project, which is nearing completion, is the Tiger Inn. The space has been reconfigured to a more open design, old booths removed, and the bar (granite top not yet installed) greatly extended. The menu will be significantly upgraded. There will be an outdoor seating area with fire pit. The Tiger Inn will reflect the American Tap Room concept of Thompson Hospitality, which was awarded the Hampden-Sydney food service contract last spring and took over operations in June. The renovation and refurnishing was a $520,000 project to which Thompson Hospitality has made a capital commitment of about half. The remainder is covered by a pledge by Thompson Hospitality to the President's discretionary fund and designated by Dr. Howard for this project.
Refurbishing of classrooms in Morton, Bagby, and Gilmer Halls continues supported by a generous grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and support from the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges (VFIC). The rooms have been painted and carpeted. Classroom presentation equipment and LED lighting has been installed. New desks - referred to by students as the 'bumper cars" - allow the maximum flexibility for teaching configurations.
A nine-hole disc-golf course has been created in the cleared and wooded areas encircling Kirby Field House. The Rugby field, behind Middlecourt, has been widened by a third to bring it into conformity for regulation play.
Some projects were made necessary by the requirements of routine maintenance and upgrades and, in the case of the observatory, storm damage. A lightning strike last spring triggered the roof to open allowing the telescope and work area to be drenched. The open porch has been enclosed and a permanent roof constructed. The telescope will be covered by a dome which will soon be lifted into place.
A major refitting of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system has been undertaken in Graham Hall. The Bookstore and post office continue to operate in place but the Admissions Office has been temporarily moved to the former home of Dr. Ray Moore, Sr. at the end of Via Sacra. The Graham work is scheduled for completion in September/October.
The exterior of Kirby Field House is being painted. The dark brown original color will be replaced by garnet on the walls and grey on the roof and the varsity tennis courts will be resurfaced.