BY GLENN GRIGSBY
The convergence center, which will be an academic commons space available to all departments, is being constructed on Campus Walk between Simpson Library and Arrington Hall.
Due to its location, a portion of Campus Walk is closed for safety concerns, and a temporary alternate walkway around the construction site was built.
Noise has also been an issue for many students living on campus near the construction.
“While the noise is not unbearable, it can get pretty annoying at times, particularly when I was living on the side of the dorm that faces the site,” Courtney Washington, Senior theater major and a two-year resident of Arrington Hall.
The project is expected to be completed in March 2014, and the building is scheduled to open shortly thereafter for the 2014 summer semesters, according to UMW’s office of the provost website.
As of this past August, the exterior brick work is about 50 percent complete, and work on framing the interior walls is over 90 percent complete.
According to Richard Pearce, vice president for administration and finance, the project is “on track.”
Construction of the Hyatt Place-Fredericksburg at Eagle Village, a five-story, 93-room hotel, began in September 2012. Pearce said the hotel will open this December.
According to Fredericksburg’s economic development web page, the construction projects at Eagle Village have been a part of a two-phase development plan.
Phase one began in August 2010 and included the building of Eagle Landing, the parking deck, retail and office spaces and the pedestrian bridge that connects Eagle Village to campus.
Phase two of the project began with construction of the Hyatt Place-Fredericksburg and includes upgrades to the existing core retail space, a new mixed-use development and green space.
Planning for the Campus Center began in early 2011, construction began this past summer.
According to Pearce, underground work is set to begin on September 16.
“College Avenue will be closed for the underground work from September 16 until September 20 and then again from September 29 until October 11,” said Pearce.
During most of the underground work days, only one lane of the road will be closed at a time. Maps will be posted to inform people of alternate routes around construction, according to Pearce.
According to the Campus Center project page on UMW’s website, during an intensive architectural survey conducted by UMW’s Historic Preservation Department, Chandler, due to its past renovations, was deemed less historically significant than Seacobeck Hall, the originally planned site for the campus center.
In an effort to preserve some of the historic significance of the building, Pearce said the clock and column caps were saved from the demolition so they could be used for projects in the future.