McCormick Road renovations to begin this summer

Gooch residence area to be completed in summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Wendy Feng | Cavalier Daily

University Housing and Residence Life plans to reopen the Gooch residence area — which has sections currently closed for renovations — this summer.

Andy Petters, assistant dean of students for Housing and Residence Life, said Dillard Residence area will be closed for the 2016-17 year.

“The renovation plans for Gooch/Dillard and McCormick Road have been in development for many years,” Petters said in an email statement.

The Gooch and Dillard renovations includes conversion of single rooms into double rooms and work in common areas and bathrooms. The renovation also upgrades the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Gay Perez, executive director of housing and residence life and associate dean of students, said each project done by the University requires two years of planning prior to construction.

“In order to do a construction project like this [dorm renovations], we have a lot of planning,” Perez said.

McCormick Road residences will also be under construction during this summer for utilities and other site work to prepare for renovations to receive air conditioning, elevators and an upgraded electrical system. Perez said the renovation will be a four-year phased process to be completed in the fall of 2020.

“So this summer we will do the site work, then we will occupy McCormick [Road] next year,” Perez said. “Starting in May of next year, we will take off Kent, Dabney and Bonnycastle.”

Perez and Petters said Housing and Residence Life used student feedback in the planning process.

“We are guided by feedback from students as to what they would like to see improved in these areas and by the facilities items that we want to address,” Petters said.

The Board of Visitors approved the housing renovations in June 2014. Perez said the board is very involved in every step of the process from conceptual designs to budgets and is concerned with keeping historic elements intact during the renovation process.

“The big question the board always likes to know is can you renovate or is this new construction,” Perez said. “So for the Alderman Road project, that was a decision before my time that they were going to actually take down the existing buildings and build new. McCormick [Road] on the other hand, for multiple reasons, the Board of Visitors approved us to fully renovate but keep the building structure.”

Petters said the University plans to improve facilities in the future.

“Our housing plan is to continue maintenance and improvement of our existing facilities — which includes upperclass apartments, Residential Colleges and graduate and faculty staff housing,” Petters said.

There are potential plans for new housing for upperclassmen and first-years, but these projects are still in the planning phase.

“Our plans include a potential new upper class apartment facility and two more first-year dorms,” Petters said. “These projects are still in the initial planning states. The location, schedule and programs for these facilities are to be determined.”

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