Latest Developments

Important project developments and timeline changes will be posted here. The dates below indicate when the update was posted. View Webcam of Construction Site!


July 9, 2014 — Furniture deliveries have started! Audio/visual equipment installations are underway in several spaces. Construction crews and UMW staff are busily working to finalize details required for various inspections that will be occurring this month and which must be completed before any personal contents (files and so forth) for various offices are moved into the building. Move-in activities are scheduled for late in the month of July. Also on tap this month is taking care of fixing several of the “punch list” items that were identified during the building walk-through inspection held last week. UMW staff and representatives from the architectural firm Hanbury, Evans, Wright, and Vlattas took part in the walk-through.

June 11, 2014 — The interior of the building is taking shape; flooring is being installed, walls are painted, light fixtures are being put up, and cabinetry in some locations is underway. A few of the spaces look very close to being done, except for the installation of AV equipment. While much work remains to be done, it’s hard to deny the feeling when walking through the building that everything is getting closer to the finish line. The projected date for substantial completion has been set for July 17! Outside, brick work for the Convergence Garden is continuing; a number of bad weather days have played havoc with exterior construction efforts but crews are working hard to stay on schedule. The enclosure for the backup generators is nearing completion — it’s a large structure near the Jepson Science Center parking lot. Designers did a good job blending this structure in to the surroundings so that it is not too much of a visual interference. And backup power supply for the building is essential.

March 6, 2014 — The next several week will see major work ongoing on the interior of the building. Drywall ceilings will be installed on all four floors and primer paint will be applied to all drywall surfaces. Lights will be installed on the first three floors, and bathroom tile will be installed on the first three floors. Installation of the glass “curtain walls” that border campus walk on the second floor of the building should be completed by the end of the month. Network cabling and wiring inside the building is well underway. Weather permitting, work on the outside of the building to complete the GRFC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) trim should be completed. In plain terms, those of the large decorative white trim pieces on the outside of the building!

November 2013 — One major development was the removal of the large tower crane that had been the most prominent landmark at the work site. The building’s roof was completed and the building is now operating off of its own power supply. The exterior brickwork is mostly complete. Windows are being installed and exterior trim work is going up. Between now and the end of the year, all windows will be completed and the building will be enclosed and provided with temporary heat so that the detail and finish work inside the building can proceed during the cold winter months. The latest aerial photos (from November 22) are available here.

September 2013 —  Exterior brick work is roughly 75% complete.  Work on framing the interior walls is almost finished.  Window frames are being installed, and construction of the mezzanine is continuing.  The building remains on schedule.  By the end of October, it is expected that the building will be fully enclosed. For an interesting glimpse at the progress of the work, take a look at these recent aerial photos (from September 24).

August 2013 —  Exterior brick work is roughly 50% complete.  Work on framing the interior walls is over 90% complete.  Door frames are being installed, and construction of the mezzanine for the Digital Auditorium has begun.  The installation of the assortment of heavy mechanical equipment for the building that will be installed on the roof (air handlers, chillers, and the like) will begin during this month.  As this photo shows, there is a lot of activity at the work site!.

June 2013 — Concrete for the interior stairs and the building loading was poured.  Exterior brick work was set to begin by the end of the month, starting with the south elevation (the side facing the Woodard campus center).  The brick currently being installed, as this photo shows, is a different color than “usual” UMW brick.  After it’s installed, the brick will be washed and then the color will match other UMW buildings. This photo shows the portion of the building where campus walk will cut through the two sides beginning to take shape.

May 2013 — All on the concrete “pours” to create all floors and the exterior walls walls concluded during this month.  Framing for some of the interior walls began, and shown in this photo.

April 2013 — Construction of the building’s third floor is in progress. As shown in this photo, the building site is far different than it was when work began in January to start pouring the foundation began!

March 2013 — Work begins on the second floor of the building, as illustrated in this photo.

February 2013 — Concrete pours for the first floor “slab on grade”  were completed. Walls for the first floor started to go up. Over the next two months, the process will be repeated for each of the remaining floors in the building. The anticipated conclusion of this phase of the project is early May.  At that time, all the building exterior walls and the roof will be up.

January 2013 — Major work involved pouring of the building’s footings and foundations.  This first photo (from late December) shows to start of this work. Numerous utilities for the building that go under the the “slab” flooring have been put in place. Some of the building’s walls are also starting to go up. This photo from later in January shows the progress being made.  Because of the very tightly constrained construction space, work on this project required the installation of a large tower crane to move materials around the worksite — you can clearly see the crane in this picture.  The crane rises approximately 100 feet above the top of the Library.  To ensure everyone’s safety, the construction firm has taken several actions to restrict access to the crane’s locations to workers only.

December 2012 — The construction firm has been directed to observe a “quiet period” beginning next Saturday (with the start of “reading days” and the following exam week).  In order to maintain as much quiet as possible while exams are in session, work will be limited to that requiring only hand tools or other construction methods that produce minimal noise.

November 2012 —Excavation and site preparation work was completed.  Work began on the placement of the aggregate piers that will anchor the building to the site.  Placement of the piers is running slightly ahead of schedule and is expected to conclude by November 30. Vibrations during pile placement work were monitored to ensure that the activities were not disruptive.  Given the sandy condition of the soils in the site, vibration transfer to Jepson or the Simpson Library was not anticipated.  Every reasonable effort was made to keep noise to a minimum. The next step in the project will be pouring concrete for the building’s footings and foundation.  Because of the increased construction activity in the area, everyone was reminded via email to use the covered walkway when traveling through the work zone rather than walking in the road.  Students were sent an email reminder cautioning against walking, skateboarding, or bicycling in the middle of the Simpson Library access road. 

September 10, 2012Delivery of equipment and supplies to start excavation work begins.  Every effort will be made to schedule deliveries early in the morning — at times when there is less pedestrian traffic on campus walk and College Avenue (and also less vehicular  traffic on College Ave.). Deliveries at other times will be scheduled as much as possible to occur outside of the class change times.  There will be times when both vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the vicinity of the construction site will have to stopped to allow work trucks to move construction equipment and materials into the site.  When this occurs, the contractor will provide traffic control and try to limit the interruption time as much as possible.  Whenever heavy equipment is on the road, workers from the construction firm have been watching pedestrian traffic, stopping it briefly when necessary so that trucks can safely get through the site.  

August 3, 2012 — Work on the “early package” of construction activities related to upgrading and relocating underground utilities has been completed.  The temporary construction access road in between the Jepson Science Center and Melchers Hall is finished and in use.  New handicapped accessible parking spaces near Jepson Hall have been added.  The campus walk detour around the construction site is also finished.  See the map showing the detour around the construction site.

June 27, 2012 — Work on the Simpson Library access road, the new handicapped parking spaces, and the temporary construction road are nearing completion.  See the photo of this work.  The walkway at the south side of Simpson Library, which has been closed for repairs, is nearing completion.  This photo shows the status of the work.

June 25, 2012 — Construction of the covered walkway around the construction site (that will send pedestrians behind the Library) is now set to be completed during the week of July 22.  Signs indicating the revised pedestrian route will be put in place during the same week.

June 1, 2012– The Simpson Library parking lot will be temporarily closed to allow for concrete pours scheduled for Monday through Thursday (June 4 – 7) and the following Wednesday and Thursday (June 13-14).  The scheduled time for each pour is 2:00 to 4:00.   Emergency vehicle access to the lot will be maintained during these times.

May 14, 2012 –This update involves mulched walkway that cuts over from campus walk to College Avenue (the walk that goes in between Pollard Hall and the Jepson Science Center).

Safety concerns require that pedestrian traffic be moved away from the mulch path and towards routes that will decrease the risk of accidents occurring as people walk through the general area of construction.  The mulch path will be closed while the project is under construction.  Walking traffic will be routed down the College sidewalk and then through the Jepson Science Center parking lot and around the side of the building (using the existing sidewalks).  This route is necessary in order to best ensure everyone’s safety.  NOTE — this is a change from the original plan. View map of the detour.

May 10, 2012— On Monday, May 14, campus walk on the north side of the Simpson Library will be closed. All pedestrian and handicapped traffic will be detoured to College Avenue.  Signs will be provided to remind everyone of the new travel patterns.

Sidewalks and stairways within the construction site and a portion of Campus Walk will be removed to facilitate underground utility work involving water, sewer, electrical, and telecommunication lines.   Additional work commencing next week includes demolition of the bridge in front of Arrington Hall and the removal of some of the existing landscaping within the construction site.

Work on the temporary construction access road is continuing.  Expansion of handicapped parking spaces to be located between the Jepson Science Center and the new building has also begun.  As soon as this work is finished, new asphalt covering will be applied to all road and parking surfaces.  The Simpson Library access road (which has be partially torn up due to some utility work) will also receive a new asphalt coat.

Major ground breaking for the project is set for middle to late June.  Work on the foundation for the new building will start at that time.

May 5, 2012— Beginning Monday, May 14, a section of Campus Walk near the Library will be closed to accommodate underground utility work needed for the Convergence Center site.  All pedestrian and handicapped traffic will be routed onto College Avenue and then back to campus walk.  This pattern will remain in effect until mid-June.  At that time, traffic for persons requiring an handicap accessible route around the project site will still be via College Avenue.  A pedestrian bypass around the construction site will be opened with persons routed through the Simpson Parking Lot and then back to campus walk on the Woodard Campus Center side of the Library. (This route will not be handicap accessible.)  The detour configurations will remain in effect for the duration of the project.

May 2, 2012 — The start of major ground breaking for the project has been moved back to June 2012 (instead of the previously announced May 2012 ground breaking date).  Ground braking will not commence until after Reunion Weekend has ended.