By PATRICIA YATES
Seacobeck Hall served its last meals over the summer of 2015. The Office of Student Activities and Engagement have since been moved out of the basement and the Copy Center is expected to follow. It is not known how the building will be used now. There are rumors that Seacobeck Hall is going to be renovated, but for what, no one seems to know.
According to Richard Pearce, the vice president for Administration and Finance for the University of Mary Washington and treasurer of the UMW Foundation, President Hurley met with the Virginia General Assembly on Feb. 5 to ask for UMW to be provided with planning funds.
The first order of business if UMW gets the funds, according to Pearce, would be to stabilize Seacobeck Hall and prevent it from deteriorating. Once that is accomplished, there will be meetings to discuss future plans for the building.
According to an article published by UMW’s website prior to Seacobeck’s closing, several suggestions, such as classrooms, studios, a small auditorium, display space for the arts and museums and storage space have been explored about possible uses for Seacobeck Hall. According to the article, a decision is likely to be made in the 2015-2016 year. Seacobeck Hall was built in 1930 to serve as UMW’s dining facility.
As of now, the hall’s historic Faculty Dining Room is used as a possible location for wedding receptions or other events, according to UMW Catering’s website, and to serve patrons at the UMW Theatre before a show, according to the University’s calendar of events.
Students also offered suggestions and shared their experiences regarding Seacobeck Hall. Claire Good, sophomore history and English double major has good memories of Seacobeck when it was the former dining hall.
“It was a beautiful place to be,” Good said. “You could always find a seat.” Good believes the University Center’s dining hall has become more crowded than Seacobeck.
Other students echoed this idea, including senior business major Marissa Tarzier believed the University Center became crowded especially during popular times of the day, such as lunch hours.
“This one is a lot newer, but there’s not as much space,” Tarzier said. “If you come here during lunch, it’s harder to find a place to sit.”
Freshman Derick Lyon believes the space in Seacobeck could be used to benefit students. “I think more of a common area where people can come by,” Lyon said.
Denise Anastasio, junior economics major, had heard that Seacobeck could potentially become classrooms or an art gallery.
“That would be nice,” Anastasio said. “I don’t want to see that building go to waste.” Kate Chisholm, junior English major, had worked in marketing at Seacobeck Hall and said an art gallery could be a good fit.
If renovated, Seacobeck Hall would be one of several buildings that have undergone repairs in recent years, including the second floor of Woodard Hall and Mercer Hall, both which completed construction and became open to students this semester.