All systems go. 

That’s the gist of Dan Pisaniello’s message regarding phase one of a three-phase construction project expected to transform the on-campus experience at William & Mary over the next 10 years. 

The Housing & Dining Comprehensive Facilities Plan, part of the Campus Comprehensive Plan, will renovate or replace 80% of campus residences and provide two new dining facilities, with the first new student housing scheduled to be completed in fall 2025. 

Phase one will deliver new housing for 935 students at the West Woods site as well as housing for 269 students in a new facility adjacent to Lemon and Hardy halls along Jamestown Road. Old Dominion and Monroe halls are also being renovated, and a new west campus dining facility is under construction. 

“It’s all going really well,” said Pisaniello, university architect. 

The project is one of several construction efforts currently underway across campus that will revitalize the university’s living and learning facilities to meet future strategic needs. 

Housing and dining 

The Jamestown East design completes a triangle-shaped residential section of campus adjacent to Jamestown Road. It will be in line with the campus design guidelines for development at the campus edge, continuing the traditional architectural character established by Barrett and Jefferson halls.  

Limiting the development to three stories plus a fully occupied attic maintains a comfortable residential feel. A new triangular courtyard will unify the landscape space. The entry portal at the apex of the wedge-shaped building will welcome students and visitors into the residential courtyard from the intersection of Jamestown Road and Landrum Drive. 

While Pisaniello said that inspiration for the amenities came from similar complexes around the Commonwealth of Virginia that are attractive to today’s students, he emphasized that there isn’t any specific model.  

“We’re not saying, ‘We definitely want it to look like X.’ We still want the buildings and composition to feel like William & Mary. The Lemon-Hardy triangle is so close to the 1920s campus that (Jamestown East) must relate to Barrett and Jefferson, while still tying to Lemon and Hardy.” 

Conversely, he said, the West Woods project “gives us a bit more opportunity to take that traditional language and be more interpretive. I think the design does a great job of bridging the traditional and the modern. The architecture in the West Woods is going to be pretty exciting.” 

Site preparation for the West Woods project began in July with the demolition of Yates Hall, which will be replaced with a new west campus dining facility and four residential buildings. 

“If you’re out on the West Woods end of the site, the contractor is moving so incredibly quickly,” Pisaniello said. 

Phase two is still in the planning stage. It potentially involves redevelopment of the current Campus Center site to include new construction of a student housing and dining facility, admission office and bookstore, as well as the redevelopment of the Richmond Hall site, among other projects. 

The current overall plan calls for it to begin once phase one is completed and for phase three to follow when phase two is finished. 

The beauty and architectural continuity of phase one is obvious, Pisaniello said. But what can’t be seen may be even more impressive. The university is using geothermal wells as sustainable sources of energy for the buildings. Construction currently underway on Barksdale Field will result in the installation of 238 such wells that will support Lemon and Hardy halls along with Jamestown East. That work is expected to be completed this August, at which time the soccer field will be restored with the addition of a new sprinkler system.

“We’re drilling down 450 feet and using the Earth to heat and cool our buildings rather than using fossil fuels – and it’s going to save a tremendous amount of energy costs,” he said. “We see a lot above ground, but what’s inside the buildings and beneath the buildings is really special. 

“They are beautiful, they are sustainable and they are William & Mary buildings. It’s an exciting time at William & Mary.” 

Chesapeake Bay Hall at VIMS 

Construction on Chesapeake Bay Hall, a new research building, is moving quickly on the Gloucester Point campus of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). In line with sustainability efforts at VIMS, the project is targeted to achieve LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, and it includes smart lab technology, a rooftop wind turbine, and EV charging stations, among other sustainable features. 

With VIMS’ advisory role to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the recently completed fritted glass map of the Chesapeake Bay is a fitting addition to the building’s exterior. The 68,250-square-foot facility will support research across VIMS’ multidisciplinary sections: natural resources, coastal and ocean processes, and ecosystem health. 

“The partnership with both Kjellstrom + Lee and Baskervill has been outstanding,” said VIMS’ Chief Operations Officer Joe Martinez. “Their professionalism and commitment to teamwork while creating a facility that reflects the work and research mission at VIMS will undoubtedly contribute to the overall success of this new building.” 

A rendering of a building that has a map of the Chesapeake Bay on it and VIMS at the top
A rendering shows a large map of the Chesapeake Bay that will greet visitors approaching the north side of the building. (Image courtesy of VIMS)

The Martha Wren Briggs Center for Visual Arts 

The Martha Wren Briggs Center for the Visual Arts, which will house the expanded Muscarelle Museum of Art, will offer three times the space of the current museum, with greatly expanded gallery and event spaces. A light-filled atrium will connect the original museum with the new, three-story addition.  

The project is on schedule and construction is expected to be complete by November 2024, as the university’s Year of the Arts nears its culmination. The project is fully funded through private donations, and fundraising continues. 

“The project has had some really exciting philanthropic support so it has been able to maintain a lot of the amenities in the heart of the design,” Pisaniello said. Among them are educational spaces, including a seminar room and an open-study room, inviting students into the museum for collaboration and connection. 

Several special exhibitions are slated for early 2025 to commemorate the opening. Included is “William & Mary Collects III,” which will open on Charter Day 2025. “William & Mary Collects” was the first show presented at the museum when it opened in 1983. Twenty years later, the museum offered “William & Mary Collects II,” a collection of art on loan from friends and alumni. 

Integrated Science Center 

Constructed on the site of the former Millington Hall, building four of the Integrated Science Center will house computer science, data science and design/engineering. It will cover 124,000 square feet of new space and 10,000 square feet of existing space to connect to the adjacent ISC buildings. 

Construction began last February, and the estimated finish date is August 2025. 

Senior project manager Adam Witkowski told The Flat Hat that the rooms and spaces that students should expect include large makerspaces, server rooms, computer labs, lecture halls, classrooms, study spaces, theatres and an outdoor courtyard. 

“You’re going to have outdoor spaces, you’re going to have indoor private and public spaces. It’s going to be a vast range of different types of areas where students can learn and congregate and just enjoy the building,” Witkowski said. 

More information on current projects and a construction map are available on the W&M Facilities Management website.

, Communications Specialist