After decades of scrounging for space on and off campus, the School of Education relocated to a new, state-of-the-art facility near William & Mary Hall.
Thanks to $48 million from the Virginia General Assembly, the new building is a place where roughly 90 faculty and staff as well as 150 undergraduate and 650 graduate students can hang out and spread out. Faculty and staff relocated to the building in May 2010 settling into their roomy, 112,000-square-foot facility.
Every year, the School of Education graduates more than 120 teachers and 20 school administrators along with reading specialists, school counselors and psychologists. Led by Dean Spencer G. Niles, the school also offers professional development to over 20,000 educators across the state. A study revealed that the nationally ranked School of Education needed at least 100,000 square feet of space to do what it does. We threw in the extra 12,000 as a bonus.
And it is sustainable space. Outside is a garden that grows using rain water that runs off the portico. The garden was part of the plan to make the building sustainable, along with the utilization of things such as energy star equipment, natural light and motion sensors. The School of Education building holds a gold LEED certification.
"We recycled the whole site, literally," said Wayne Boy, director of planning, design and construction for facilities management, noting that they reused more than 90 percent of the materials that came from the old hospital building.
The new facility brings new life to the School of Education. For the first time in 20 years, all programs, classrooms and offices are located under one roof with room to grow. The school’s physical footprint will give way to an even larger virtual footprint as outreach programs expand. The school finally has a facility to equal the remarkable work and accomplishments of its dedicated faculty, staff and students.