March 10, 2014
Architects are working with the Fine Arts department to renovate Winston Hall. The project will provide significant improvements to studio, laboratory, and instruction spaces and the building systems that provide heating, cooling, lighting, and power. A concept and project budget will be presented to the Trustees for approval in May. Following approval, detailed design and construction work will follow .
Improved facilities for Fine Arts was one of three main initiatives identified in Strategic Plan and described in the 2012 Campus Master Plan Update along with a new Student Center and significant improvements to Gilmer Hall for the natural sciences. The renovated Winston Hall will include studio space for painting, drawing, design, and photography as well as teaching, classroom and rehearsal space for music. Critical support facilities will include properly equipped spaces for digital music performance and recording, and a computer lab for digital graphics and photographic processing and editing. As a part of this project, the Communications Office and Student Publications will be relocated to other buildings on campus.
Complete replacement of the building's heating and air-conditioning systems is anticipated along with significant improvements to electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems including new toilet facilities. Those familiar with Winston will appreciate that in addition to the systems improvements, building acoustics will be improved reducing noise from HVAC systems and creating much needed sound isolation between rooms.
Students and faculty in the Fine Arts are working with the architects, Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas Company of Norfolk to clarify project goals, establish priorities and develop design criteria for the completed project. During this phase of the work, a Project Plan will be developed to set the scope of the work in terms of square feet, construction materials and quality, and cost. Once approved, a final design will include detailed plans and specifications. A plan for "swing space" or phasing to allow continuation of the Fine Arts program during the renovation will also be developed.
Constructed in 1880 as the library for Union Seminary before the Seminary moved to Richmond, Winston became the College's library in 1898. Following an addition, a catastrophic fire in 1941 and reconstruction in 1950 it served as the College library until 1961 when it was converted to the dining hall or "Commons" until 1991. In addition to Fine Arts and Communications, Winston also housed the Student Health Center until recently.
Funding for this project will come from multiple sources including funds already in hand and expected from grants. A "move in" date will be established once a detailed plan is developed and phasing options are determined.