Virginia Tech’s new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center was recently recognized for excellence in construction by the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC) Carolinas Chapter.

Virginia Tech received an Eagle Award as part of ABC’s Awards of Excellence Program. The awards program has become the premiere competition within the industry that recognizes outstanding construction projects across the nation.

In selecting award winners, ABC considers several factors specific to the construction process and the end result. Criteria include overcoming construction challenges in innovative ways, safety programs, and building quality.

When building the center, KBR Building Group, the construction manager, was tasked to construct a facility which called for a four-inch-thick Hokie Stone exterior. However, to prevent breakage, the stone could not be delivered at less than six inches. To complete the project, the contractor hand-cut each stone used and made and structural adjustments to accommodate a different stone size. These methods have now been incorporated into specifications for future construction projects on campus.

A strong safety program was noted in the award submission. Crews maintained a written safety and health policy manual, regular safety meetings, and successful Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspections contributing to the success of the project.

As the university’s new “front door,” the 18,000-square-foot center is the first impression for visitors to the Blacksburg campus. With this in mind, three concepts guided the design and construction process: an open door to Virginia Tech, an exhilarating view of the university, and an essential infusion of Virginia Tech.

The building features an easily identified entrance and reception area, a two-story glass wall that provides a sweeping view of campus, and the blend of traditional Hokie Stone and gothic character with modern design. Energy-saving technologies and four bio retention basins to filter and handle storm water should help the project achieve its LEED Certified goal.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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