by CAMERON DELEAN
Construction on Seacobeck Hall will resume in early 2020. The project was previously halted due to a shortage of funds as a result of market escalation earlier this year. Last the student body heard, the school did not have the funds and did not know if or when they would be able to proceed with the renovation of the building, which is intended to house the College of Education and the Office of Disability Resources.
Peter Kelly, dean of the College of Education, spoke on the issue of acquiring additional funds from the state.
“The Commonwealth has appropriated an additional $1.1 million from construction pool contingency funding to support the Seacobeck project,” Kelly said.
That addition will still leave the Seacobeck project short by a significant amount.
“The legislature is not in session yet, so we are proceeding with an Administration and legislative-approved plan,” Paino said.
The plan calls for a request for additional funding that would need to be approved by the General Assembly, which will not meet until early next year.
“The 2020 General Assembly will consider a proposal to provide an additional allocation to cover the remaining funding gap, which is estimated at $2.6 million,” Kelly said.
This means that the school will not have to make cuts to the design and resources planned for Seacobeck to reduce costs.
“Fortunately, due to the extra funding we did not have to make cuts this time around,” Paino said.
While the changes that are to be made Seacobeck were temporarily paused, Kelly assures that the future home to education students is still underway, despite not having received the full funding just yet.
“UMW has identified an interim option to keep the Seacobeck project moving forward pending the allocation of additional funding by the General Assembly,” Kelly said. “The projected start of construction is early in 2020 with renovation completion anticipated by Spring 2021.”
Carly Rose, a junior in the College of Education, said she understands the delay in construction.
“I find it interesting the project was delayed because I feel like this school is known for education,” Rose said. “But I get that they only have so much money since people donate to certain programs, like science, and it has to be used there.”
Unfortunately for Rose and other upperclassmen education students, they won’t get to utilize the facility as much as underclassmen and prospective students due to the delay in construction.
“I wish I could use it more but my experience has still been good without it,” Rose said. “I might be jealous of new students once it is finished though.”