By JONATHAN POLSON
According to a campus-wide email from Rick Pearce, vice president for administration and finance at UMW, construction on the new campus center, which will be built on the site of Chandler Hall, is being delayed.
The construction was initially intended to begin in the summer of 2012, but is being delayed until the summer of 2013, according to Pearce. He said this would push the opening of the new campus center back one year to Fall 2015.
“It is important to note that the Campus Center project is very important and we are strongly committed to its construction; however, it is prudent to modify the timeline due to its interrelationship with other impending projects,” said Pearce.
UMW students are disappointed at the news that the new campus center, which will include a new dining hall, will not arrive when originally intended.
“I guess it would have been a great opportunity for us,” said Kiana Frank, a freshman.
According to a Bullet article from November 2010, UMW commissioned the architecture firm Burt, Hill in October 2009 for $600,000 to “envision changes to the University of Mary Washington’s campus that will provide new functional space as well as beautify the existing buildings.”
A previous Bullet article from April 2011 stated that a committee of six UMW faculty members and a Burt, Hill architect proposed Chandler Hall to be the site of the new Campus Center. The Board of Visitors approved the plan later that month.
The removal of Chandler Hall to build the new Campus Center would require relocating the school’s psychology and business administration departments to Woodward campus center and Mercer Hall, respectively, which also requires major renovations, stated Pearce.
He continued to say that these renovations would require these departments to “stay in temporary facilities longer than originally planned and we need to do all that we can to avoid this possibility.”
“The best-case funding scenario,” according to Pearce, for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 would only allow for pre-planning money for the Woodard campus center and Mercer Hall renovations.
“Pre-planning funds will permit the University to develop ‘conceptual drawings’ of these projects, but not the final, ready to bid construction documents,” said Pearce.
He hopes the funding for these projects will become available in the next fiscal year of July 2013-July 2014.
“We will move forward with the planning process for the new Campus Center and we will work to coordinate sequencing of all of these projects in the most prudent and logical manner possible,” said Pearce.