Here's What Virginia Tech's Future Construction and Innovation will Bring
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Here's What Virginia Tech's Future Construction and Innovation will Bring

Continuing to strive for excellence and "invent the future"

Here's What Virginia Tech's Future Construction and Innovation will Bring

It seems to be no surprise that Viginia Tech was ranked No.1 "Best Quality of Life" in the Princeton Review Ranking of 2017 because they simply cannot stop improving upon the university. New building construction designs and innovations to the university continue to pop up everyday. This hands-on, competitive and engaged environment cannot seem to sit still. If you were impressed by the new Classroom Building or Goodwin Hall, then take a look at these active projects and potential future plans for Virginia Tech's campus.

1. The Drillfield Master Plan

The goal of this construction plan is to preserve the beauty of the iconic center of Virginia Tech's campus while also making it a more usable space. The project will include significant changes to the field turf, outside parking and crosswalks, seating opportunities (like built in benches), an outer loop running path and much more. A main focus of this innovation is the paths running across the Drillfield. Paths originally developed organically from the constant crossing of students. Eventually larger paths were paved in the late 1970s to accommodate these routes. However since then, there has been problems with paths becoming flooded, muddy and other maintenance issues. In August 2015, 14 different materials were installed on the Drillfield by a research team of faculty and students to be tested for permanent installation. The most efficient and environmentally practical materials will be selected to create the new pathways.

2. War Memorial Hall - Health and Wellness Expansion

The Hughes Group, the architects that designed McComas Hall, are currently undergoing a feasibility study to renovate War Memorial Hall. The renovation plans to include a new recreation entrance, a rock climbing wall, a social and computer zones, and more. Since this plan is still in the works, it's specific details are not yet attainable. However, here are a few construction designs.

3. Electronic Locks in Residential Halls

Although most residence halls already have this feature, the installation of this plan continues. It is a $7.7 million project and the university is currently under budget. However, the project should be completed by July 2017. Virginia Tech continues to strive for the upmost safety and security of it's students.

4. Dietrick Dining Spirit Plaza

Since this construction plan is currently listed as "under consideration," the details of this plan are not very easy to get one's hands on, to my knowledge at least. But the overall goal is to innovate the Dietrick Plaza to create a more comfortable and cutting edge space for students to eat and hangout. This plan, once again, exemplifies the futuristic advancements of this university.

5. The Parking and Transportation Masterplan

This is a 10-year master plan to prepare for the expected student growth through 2025, and in my opinion, a plan that our campus desperately needs. The plan addresses traffic, parking conditions, alternative transportation, and fully integrates and accommodates the needs of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle, and transit traffic.

Some of the notable recommendations for the plan include:

· Construction of the Western Perimeter Road

· A roundabout at Washington Street and Beamer Way (pictured below)

· Parking redistribution as campus builds out

· Develop transit shuttle routes to support changes in parking

· Improved crosswalks and trails (Multi-use Duck Pond Path)

· Additional bike lanes, dedicated bike trails, and continued use of sharrows

7. O'Shaughnessy Renovation and Addition (Informally known as Oshag)

The renovations will start outside of the residence hall with an entirely new courtyard including two small amphitheaters, a collaborative patio and a sunken plaza. Inside the new hall will include brand new living learning community spaces, room controlled air conditioning, new furnishings, a penthouse faculty apartment and more.

6. The Five Year Energy Action Plan

In 2015-16, the Facilities Department conducted a analysis of campus buildings which identified about 50 energy intensive buildings or otherwise known as “energy hogs." The university then conducted a plan to reduce energy costs by approximately $4.5 million in the next five years.

Other Notable On-going Department of Student Affairs Conversations:

1. Favarro/Lawson- Dining Option

2. Owen's Food Court Renovation

3. Pritchard Hall Renovation

4. Harper Hall/Cranwell International Center Improvements

5. Recreational Fields Maintenance Facility and Pavilion

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