COVID-19 impacts among topics covered during Board of Visitors meeting
August 25, 2020
The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors concluded their three-day meeting Tuesday afternoon having discussed a variety of issues and resolutions.
Included in all committee meetings and sessions was the latest information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all campus operations. The latest information related to the pandemic can be found at the university’s Ready website.
Among the actions taken today, the board approved a resolution to demolish Femoyer Hall, a 35,500-gross-square-foot facility constructed in 1949. Originally built as a residence hall, the building was later repurposed to house student support functions. With no major renovations since its original construction and a mounting deferred maintenance backlog, the university determined the building should be replaced rather than renovated. With the planned growth of the Corps of Cadets, a new 56,500-gross-square-foot residence hall will be built on its site in the Upper Quad, providing approximately 300 new student beds.
The board also approved a resolution for the partial demolition of the Art and Design Learning Center. Constructed in 1931, this 22,532-gross-square-foot structure was originally a mechanical engineering laboratory. The basement and sub-structure portion of the facility house the Boiler Plant water treatment facility, and this portion of the building will remain intact and in use. The partial demolition will allow for the growth and expansion of the university’s Corps of Cadets and ROTC programs. The university will obtain approval from the Department of Historic Resources and the Art and Architecture Review Board prior to the demolition of this structure.
The board approved resolutions to renew the appointments of John Seiler, a professor in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and Tom Gardner, a professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences as Alumni Distinguished Professors. Each will serve a second 10-year term. Individual stories on Gardner and Seiler will be published in Virginia Tech News in early September.
Board members also received a design review of the proposed Data and Decision Sciences building that will be located on the corner of Prices Fork Road and West Campus Drive. The facility will directly support the commonwealth’s Technology Talent Investment Program for growth in computer science and computer engineering sectors as well as other technology-based and cyber security industries.
The 115,600-gross-square-foot structure will contain instructional, departmental, student-study, and support space, including the Deloitte Analytics and Trading Lab and a multi-story Commons, a connector to the future Pamplin College of Business, and additional classroom space. The $79 million project is funded as part of the 2019 Acts of Assembly and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Over the three-day meeting, board members received numerous reports on a variety of topics, including the latest developments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on teaching, research, engagement and campus operations; the financial impact of the pandemic; new Title IX regulations; planning for the sesquicentennial celebration; and the strategic initiatives that support Virginia Tech’s commitment as a global land-grant university.
In addition, board members toured the new Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC research facility in Roanoke, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, and new dairy facilities at Kentland Farm.
The board also approved resolutions honoring nine emerita or emeritus faculty members and appointed five faculty members to endowed fellowships. Individual stories on each person will appear in Virginia Tech News later this fall. The board also approved a resolution of appreciation for Dennis Treacy for his service as a board member and rector.
The next full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors meeting will be held Nov. 15 and 16 in Blacksburg. More information on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors may be found online.