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UMW's new master plan calls for preserving "jewels" of its Fredericksburg campus, replacing older buildings and adding some new ones

Date published: 7/17/2010


University of Mary Washington's next master plan for its Fredericksburg campus is likely to call for 15 of its 18 aging residence halls to be renovated.

The first public draft of the plan also suggests adding a performing arts center that would be available for public use, another parking garage, plus replacing Seacobeck Hall with a three-story dining hall and student center.

Those were among the recommendations given yesterday to UMW's board of visitors and the UMW Foundation Board by Scott Sullivan of Burt Hill, a master planning, architectural and engineering firm with offices worldwide.

The board of visitors will discuss the proposed plan today. The next phase will be to draw up a timeline and present the board with a capital construction plan for the next six years, said UMW President Rick Hurley.

UMW hired Burt Hill last November, and representatives from the firm's Washington and Philadelphia offices have been meeting with seven steering committees and 28 focus groups to ensure that the main campus can meet future needs, Sullivan said.

The existing classrooms and laboratories can handle an additional 365 students, but UMW will need an additional 50,000 square-feet of academic space by 2020 as enrollment grows, he said. Most of the residence halls, however, are in poor shape and don't meet the expectations of today's students.

"Many of the room types are outdated and many are too small for modern standards," Sullivan said.

The proposed master plan calls for Ball, Virginia and Willard halls, which he described as "jewels" of the campus, to be among the first eight residence halls to be renovated. Bushnell, Jefferson and Marshall halls, however, would be torn down and replaced.

"Bushnell is not conducive to renovating for housing," Sullivan said. "It's a good location. The ground floor could be academic, and floors two, three and four residential for honors students."

Jefferson would be rebuilt as a four- to five-story residence hall to help alleviate the housing shortage on campus, he said. UMW has an enrollment of about 5,000 students.

"Jefferson's layout is really inefficient," Sullivan said. "It's a narrow building and doesn't hold well with the new suite-style bedrooms with a bathroom. The days of toilets and showers at the end of the hall are over."

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Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed Holly T. Cuellar of Virginia Beach and Joe Wilson of Fredericksburg to the board of visitors at the University of Mary Washington.

In addition, Xavier R. Richardson has been reappointed to a second term on the university board.

Cuellar and Wilson succeed C. Maureen Stinger and J. William Poole on the board. Each appointee will serve a four-year term that expires June 30, 2014.

Cuellar, a 1989 graduate of UMW, previously served as the Hampton Roads community outreach coordinator in the Office of the Attorney General in Norfolk, where she maintained and supported the Class Action program, an educational program for Virginia schoolchildren.

Wilson is owner and chief executive officer of PermaTreat Pest Control in Fredericksburg. A former Fredericksburg City Councilman, he is vice chairman of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of both the commonwealth's Pesticide Control Board and the Commonwealth's Virginia Fire Services Board.

Richardson is executive vice president of corporate development and community affairs for Mary Washington Healthcare.

--Cathy Jett