Full-scale renovations were completed recently at Sandy Hall, one of Virginia Tech’s oldest buildings.

Extensive interior and exterior renovations and the construction of two new additions will help expand teaching and administrative capacity for the School of Neuroscience within the Virginia Tech College of Science.

Sandy Hall is the culmination of a $35 million capital initiative focused on the renovations of three historic buildings on the Drillfield: Davidson Hall, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building, and Sandy Hall. Davidson Hall was completed in June 2018 and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building renovations were completed in October 2018.

An official building dedication ceremony took place at Sandy Hall on Oct. 25.

ribbon cutting at sandy hall
Ribbon cutting at Sandy Hall on Oct. 25

There have not been major renovations at Sandy Hall since the building came into service in 1924.


A reverence for the building’s architectural history can be felt throughout the renovations with existing windows, archways, and other distinctive features either being left intact or refurbished. Under the renovations, these features were fused with a range of modern and energy-efficient upgrades, including new furnishings, a new HVAC, installation of A/C, and integration of the latest A/V capabilities.

Two stair towers were added, featuring additional bathrooms, offices, and break rooms. Exterior upgrades include a new roof and a new rear façade at the center of the building.

Accessibility was also boosted with new public areas and restrooms and the installation of a new elevator.  

study lounge at sandy hall
New study lounge at Sandy Hall
Glass egress at Sandy Hall
New glass-enclosed entrance at Sandy Hall

Underscoring the renovations was the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship. New energy-efficient windows, low-flow plumbing, and a state-the-art LED lighting system will help drive environmental conservation efforts in the building. Sandy Hall is on track to receive LEED Silver certification. Construction waste was diverted from the landfill, being either salvaged or recycled. Building materials with high recycled content were also used.

“The completed Sandy Hall renovations are a strong finish to the large-scale, multiyear Drillfield academic building renovation project,” said Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities Officer Chris Kiwus. “The improvements implemented today will have a lasting impact on learning and operational efficiency.”

The building will house upper-level classes for the School of Neuroscience along with administrative and faculty offices, conference rooms, and a distance learning center. In addition, new flexible academic support spaces will help drive collaboration and interdisciplinary learning among students, faculty, and staff.

“The newly renovated Sandy Hall provides a nexus for students and faculty to convene and bring a transdisciplinary approach to address some of the world’s critical problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism, depression, and others,” said College of Science Dean Sally C. Morton.

Sandy Hall memorializes Thomas Oldham Sandy, Virginia's first demonstration agent. Called the father of farm demonstration and Extension work in Virginia, Sandy was a progressive farmer who promoted the improvement of scientific education in agriculture. He became a Virginia Tech employee when Extension work moved under the university's purview in 1914 and his work had major ripple effects in boosting agriculture throughout in Virginia.

New hallway at Sandy Hall
New hallway and carpeting at Sandy Hall
New restroom at Sandy Hall
One of the new restrooms at Sandy Hall