The new year is ushering in a wave of capital construction projects on the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus.

Innovation, collaboration, and exploration — values central to the university mission — are underscored throughout the projects. The new construction and renovations will bolster the learning, teaching, and living environment for students and faculty for years to come.

Projects currently underway or set to break ground during winter and spring 2019 include:

Sandy Hall

Sandy Hall, built in 1924, is currently undergoing comprehensive renovations that will enhance learning and teaching capacity and improve accessibility. Furthermore, the construction of two new additions to Sandy Hall on the Ag Quad will add 4,800 gross square feet of new learning and gathering space.

The renovations are part of a $35 million capital initiative focused on Davidson Hall, Sandy Hall, and the Liberal Arts Building, three historic academic buildings on the Drillfield that date to the early 1900s.

The Sandy Hall project is expected to conclude by early summer 2019.

Commonwealth Ballroom

Renovations are currently underway in the Commonwealth Ballroom located in Squires Student Center. Among the upgrades are full interior renovations, new energy-efficient lighting, and an improved accessible layout, including an ADA-accessible stage.

The remodeled ballroom is expected to open by mid-spring 2019.

Chilled Water Infrastructure Upgrades

The major multi-year capital renovation project will provide critical upgrades to the university’s chilled water infrastructure. The proposed project includes implementation of a centralized, energy-efficient chiller network that will deliver enhanced operational efficiency and significant operational cost savings for the university.

Three state-of-the-art 3,000-ton chillers will be installed in the North and Southwest Chiller Plants. In addition, roughly 4 miles of underground piping will be installed across campus. The extensive piping network will connect the North and Southwest Chiller Plants and buildings with stand-alone chiller systems into one continuous chilled water loop.

The project is expected to last approximately two-to-three years. It is currently undergoing an invitation for bids.

Undergraduate Science Laboratories

The Undergraduate Science Laboratories renovation and new construction project will help the university meet current demands for laboratory and science course space and help accommodate forthcoming space demands driven by future enrollment growth.  

Seven laboratory spaces in Derring Hall and one laboratory in Hahn Hall will be renovated and expanded to meet growing demand for course sections in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and microbiology.

Two laboratories in Derring Hall are currently being renovated and are expected to be completed spring 2019.

In addition, approximately 102,000 gross square feet of new construction will take place at the intersection of West Campus Drive and Perry Street. This new Undergraduate Science Laboratory will complement the adjacent New Classroom Building completed in 2016.

Creativity & Innovation District Living Learning Community

The Creativity and Innovation District Living-Learning Community (CID LLC) is a proposed 225,000-gross-square-foot residential building. It will be located next to the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown between Kent and Otey streets and will be part of the larger Creativity and Innovation District project.

The CID LLC will be highlighted by a unique three-winged, interconnected design and will offer housing for 600 students and a wide variety of academic, social, research, and collaboration spaces synonymous with campus living-learning communities.

Virginia Tech’s living-learning communities connect students’ academic and co-curricular experiences to create a supportive, dynamic learning environment that becomes home.

Site and utility preparations for the CID LLC are set to begin in spring 2019. The entire project is anticipated to be completed in 2021.


“A host of upcoming capital construction projects are set to transform living, learning, and collaboration spaces across the university in a dynamic way,” said Chris Kiwus, associate vice president and chief facilities officer at Virginia Tech. “Importantly, the projects also address necessary infrastructure upgrades to help support future campus expansion and enrollment growth.”

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Gallery: Selected photos and proposed renderings of winter and spring 2019 capital construction projects can be found below.

All projects, renderings, and timelines are subject to change.