Frequently Asked Questions

Following two years of work, William & Mary's Master Plan Steering Committee submitted to the Board of Visitors in November 2014 an update to the campus master plan. The last update occurred in 2003. The Board approved the plan at its February 2015 meeting. The following responses are provided by Provost Michael R. Halleran and Vice President for Administration Anna Martin, co-chairs of the steering committee.

What is the purpose of a master plan?
What are the goals of the master plan?
Will everything in this plan definitely happen?
Who was on the steering committee?
What were the working groups?
What sort of research did the committee do to inform its plan?
Did the plan address classroom space needs?
What about lab space?
Is the proposed Arts Quarter included in the plan?
How much will it cost to construct the athletics practice facility? Will this project increase student athletic fees?
How many spaces will be included in the parking deck off Jamestown Road? Will neighbors see this building?
Can you explain the importance of a new drop-off area for admissions?
Why not preserve the white houses along Jamestown Road?
What will the new houses on Jamestown Road be used for?
Why are you removing the Lodges?
What happened to plans to construct an eco-village in the area that currently houses the Lodges?
Did the plan look at College Woods?

What is the purpose of a master plan?

This master plan provides a road map for planning facilities at William & Mary's main campus for the next 20 years. The plan refocuses our construction program based on changing program needs and building conditions. W&M's plan was last updated in 2003. While change is an integral part of the campus setting, we need to ensure that change is considered thoughtfully, especially on a campus 322 years old. This plan builds on and respects the traditions and character of the university while providing sufficient flexibility to accommodate the changing needs of a modern university.

What are the goals of the master plan?

The goals of the plan are to maximize quality, efficiency and functionality of space on campus; minimize capital and operating costs of those facilities; and use the funds in our continuing construction and renovation program to their highest and best effect.

Will everything in this plan definitely happen?

No master plan is set in stone. There will be new projects that we develop over the next 20 years that are not in this plan, and there will be projects in this plan that will drop off or change due to changing needs of the university or a lack of necessary funding. What we want to ensure is that we take a step back, consider all of the growing needs of our community and address our planning in a deliberate and thoughtful way.

Who was on the steering committee?

The committee, co-chaired by Provost Michael R. Halleran and Vice President of Administration Anna Martin, comprised administrators, staff, faculty and student representatives. In addition there were nine working groups made up of faculty administrators, staff and students with interests in those areas.

What were the working groups?

There were five programmatic working groups and four subject matter working groups. They included: 1) academic space needs, 2) administrative space needs, 3) architecture and design standards 4) athletics and recreation, 5) auxiliary and student support services and community use of facilities, 6) infrastructure and utilities, 7) land use, landscape and ecology, 8) parking and transportation and 9) residential housing.

What sort of research did the committee do to inform its plan?

This process began in February 2013.The university engaged a consultant, Canon Design, to assist in the development of the updated plan. The consultant worked closely with the nine working groups to determine programmatic needs and pertinent facilities and land use matters. The consultants also examined a large variety and quantity of studies related to the campus facilities management to inform their recommendations. They conducted focus groups and town meetings for faculty, staff and students. They also conducted an in-depth study of classroom and laboratory utilization.

The steering committee led the process and worked iteratively with the consultant over this period. They also worked closely with the university's Strategic Planning Steering Committee to ensure both campus-wide efforts were aligned together and that the recommendations in the updated master plan reflected priorities in strategic planning.

Did the plan address classroom space needs?

Yes. An in-depth study of classroom and laboratory utilization was conducted that led to the conclusion that the university did not have a need for additional classroom space. It also found no significant conflict between Student Life activities and academic uses after 5 p.m. The plan does state that we need to develop an enhanced classroom management process, that the classroom renovation program should be accelerated and that interstitial "colloquial spaces" need to be integrated into classroom buildings to enhance engaged interdisciplinary learning.

What about lab space?

There is a slight space deficit for labs based on current scheduling. This will be mitigated through new lab space currently under construction as part of phase three of the Integrated Science Center (ISC3) and additional lab space planned in the future ISC4.

Is the proposed Arts Quarter included in the plan?

Yes. The plan acknowledges and integrates the university's number one construction priority – a new Arts Quarter. Built in three phases, the Arts Quarter will feature a new music building, a renovated Phi Beta Kappa Hall for theatre, speech and dance, a renovated Andrews Hall and new studio space for art and art history. The previously approved project is the top priority in W&M's capital construction plan and will remain so.

How much will it cost to construct the athletics practice facility? Will this project increase student athletic fees?

It is envisioned the project would be funded through private donations and not fees. It's too early in the process to determine costs for the practice facility. The university recently solicited an RFP (requests for proposals) for firms to conduct a feasibility study. Once the study is finished we will know much more in terms of proposed size and cost.

How many spaces will be included in the parking deck off Jamestown Road? Will neighbors see this building?

Approximately 392, an increase of 79 over current parking spaces. One level of parking will be added to the area through this deck. The structure will remain lower than the surrounding tree line so as not to disturb the neighbors' view shed. Improved visitor access to this parking lot behind the Campus Center and Undergraduate Admissions building will benefit community members by alleviating traffic congestion at College Corner and in surrounding neighborhoods.

Can you explain the importance of a new drop-off area for admissions?

This would significantly improve the visitor experience at Admissions and include a clearly marked new entrance at Jamestown Road, drop-off area and accessible parking, entry courtyard and a landscaped pathway link to the Sunken Garden. This drop-off area will also create safer entrance off Jamestown Road and reduce traffic congestion at the College Corner area next to Duke of Gloucester Street.

Why not preserve the white houses along Jamestown Road?

The houses known as the "white house buildings" along Jamestown Road were built about a century ago – in the 1910s and 1920s – as private residences. They were never meant to be offices but have served in that capacity for decades. This has taken a great toll on the structures when you consider the amount of weight in the buildings, traffic flow, etc.

Given their age, type of construction and materials used when they were built, they are simply not financially sustainable, would be prohibitively expensive and impractical to renovate and cannot be reconfigured to meet the needs of their current users. They will be replaced with houses that respect and are compatible with the surrounding community.

The campus master plan is a 20-year plan. In the long-term, it is in the interest of the university to provide its admission office with a suitable entrance for visitors and also consolidate administrative offices into a sustainable building in a different location that is constructed for the purpose of serving a university's growing needs. In the end, we believe the landscape will be greatly improved. We will have enhanced open space and pedestrian paths as well as new small, sustainable houses along Jamestown Road.

What will the new houses on Jamestown Road be used for?

It's too early to say but there are many options, including the possibility of faculty or staff housing.

Why are you removing the Lodges?

The master plan actually calls for keeping one Lodge – the one that houses the Daily Grind. The other Lodges that are now used for housing would be removed to make room for the new integrative wellness building for student life. As we announced several years ago, we have known for some time that Lodges would need to be replaced.

In addition, in 2013 we were able to add 11 new houses and a community building as part of the new fraternity housing on Ukrop Way. This reduced the need to maintain the Lodges as space for student housing. After considering all options, an expanded Sadler Center for integrative health and wellness center for student life services was determined to be the highest and the best use for this area of campus. Any construction in this area will be highly sensitive to the surrounding environment.

What happened to plans to construct an eco-village in the area that currently houses the Lodges?

That plan was initially proposed in 2008 but has not gained traction in terms of funding. As we considered the plan, including the needs of consolidating student services and expanding the Sadler Center, this was determined to be the highest and best use of space. Many things have changed on campus since 2008, especially when it comes to environmental sustainability. Sustainable practices are embedded in the work we do all across campus. We have a much more broad and integrated approach to environmental sustainability. We want our entire campus to be an eco-village.

Did the plan look at College Woods?

The plan did look at College Woods. One recommendation that will be incorporated is working jointly with the City of Williamsburg to develop a walkway/bike path along Monticello Avenue from Treyburn Road to Ironbound Road.