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Fraternity housing, Sadler Center expansion projects completed

  • Sadler Center expansion
    Sadler Center expansion
    Students enjoy some of the new offerings available in the Sadler Center's expanded dining area on Monday.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Fraternity Housing
    Fraternity Housing
    The new fraternity housing includes 11 student residences and a community building.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • New offerings
    New offerings
    The dining hall now offers new or improved food options, including a grill, gourmet station, pizza oven, expanded salad bar, deli and Mongolian grill.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Room for living
    Room for living
    The new fraternity houses offer a formal living room, chapter room, kitchen and half-bathroom for visitors.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Rotunda
    Rotunda
    The expanded dining area includes about 300 additional seats for students. A variety of seating is also available (much of it under this roof) to create a more casual and comfortable dining environment.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Moving in
    Moving in
    Each of the fraternity houses includes 17 beds: one in a single-occupancy room and the rest in double-occupancy rooms. Nine of the 11 new houses are being occupied by chapters, and the other two are being occupied by independent students.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Special diets
    Special diets
    The expanded dining area also includes a new special diet area, which provides gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. From 8 p.m. to midnight, the space turns into a late-night dining area.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Outdoor spaces
    Outdoor spaces
    The fraternity houses also offer porches for students to relax on.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas
  • Game area
    Game area
    The chapter room of this fraternity house includes furniture and a Foosball table.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

William & Mary is beginning the fall semester with new places to live and improved spaces to eat.

The Sadler Center expansion and new fraternity housing projects were both recently completed, just in time for the start of the school year.

Fraternity housing

The new fraternity housing project includes 11 student residences and a community building, totaling 78,434 gross square feet. Construction on the project began in August 2012 and cost $25.8 million.

Nine of the new houses are occupied by fraternity chapters this semester. The other two are occupied by independent students. Altogether, the housing brings 187 new bed spaces to campus.

“It is thrilling for us to see these houses come to life as students move into their new homes,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler. “It’s what we’ve dreamed about for a number of years. Having been on the building committee myself and watched this project from its inception, I’ve appreciated especially our students’ active involvement in creating the vision for these houses, and planning how this community would look and feel. It’s really wonderful to see it finally here!”

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The houses were constructed using three floor plans, but each has one single-occupancy room and eight double rooms, allowing up to 17 students to live in one house, said Shylan Scott, assistant director for fraternity and sorority housing. The houses also offer a formal living room, chapter room, kitchen and half-bathroom for visitors.

The dark floors look like hard-wood, but they are actually made of a laminate composite, which is easy to keep clean. The chapters were able to select from three different color themes for their houses, with muted reds, blues and tans.

The houses, secured with an electronic ID access system, also offer places for students to enjoy the outdoors, with front and back porches complete with rocking chairs and picnic tables.

“These new houses allow us to support a long William & Mary tradition of a vibrant, dynamic fraternity and sorority life system,” said Deb Boykin, associate vice president for student affairs and director of residence life.

The community building will include a living space for Scott as well as offices, meeting space and central storage areas for chapters.

The buildings were designed to be sustainable and to achieve LEED Silver certification, said Wayne Boy, director of planning, design and construction for William & Mary. The lights operate on motion sensors, and each bedroom has its own thermostat. All of the appliances are Energy Star, and the water appliances are low-flow. The houses also have heat-recovery systems, and all of the materials that were used in construction are energy efficient.

Overall, Boy is pleased with how the project turned out.

“It’s a place you want to come home to,” Boy said.

Brett Prestia ’14, who just moved into one of the houses with his fraternity Delta Phi, agreed with that sentiment.

“I love it. I think it’s really cozy,” said Prestia, who is the president of the chapter. “The fact that you can put 16 other guys in here is kind of awesome. You still have that dorm feeling, and everyone’s pretty close. But what I really love is that it is so fresh and so new and it’s so much better than what we did have before.”

Previously, Delta Phi occupied an early 20th-century house located by Sorority Court.

“It has a lot of character, don’t get me wrong,” Prestia said of their old house, “but it’s really nice to be up here with the other fraternities and have all of the new appliances and stuff like that.”

Sadler Center dining

The $8-million project included a 7,000-square-foot expansion of the dining facility. The renovated space, which extends to the south toward The Daily Grind, includes an expanded eating area, with approximately 300 additional seats. Previously, only about 400 seats were available in the dining area. The new seating includes a variety of options, to promote a more casual community environment. It has also been arranged to improve traffic flow during the area’s busiest times.

The main dining space also offers new or improved food options -- including a grill, gourmet station, pizza oven, expanded salad bar, deli and Mongolian grill – many of which offer made-to-order meals.

“We are excited about the food options and expanded hours that the Sadler Center dining facility will provide to our students, faculty and staff,” said Cindy Glavas, director of auxiliary services.  “So far the feedback has been very positive.”

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Matt Moss, director of dining services, noted that they also tried to bring some of the food programming out into the dining hall.

“As you see in modern establishments today, you’re seeing more and more of them out in a central location, helping students graze dine versus that buffet line dining that you used to see many years ago,” he said.

The expansion also includes a new area for students with special diets, which offers gluten-free, vegan or vegetarian options. Additional gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options are available in the main dining area; however, the special-diet section serves only those options.

At 8 p.m. each night, that area turns into a space for late-night dining, where food is served until midnight. Right now, the late-night dining options center on themes, with this month’s being Mediterranean foods such as couscous and gyros.

“We’ll be looking to get feedback from students as to what they are looking for late-night,” said Moss. “It’s going to be a little bit of an experiment for us as to what we put out here on the menu, so getting student feedback will help us get the program together to put out the products that students want.”

Like the fraternity housing project, the Sadler Center expansion also sought to be environmentally-friendly. The Sadler Center was added to the university’s central chiller plant for energy-efficiency, and the HVAC system is using variable frequency drives for electrical efficiency. The dining area also continues to promote trayless dining and reusable to-go containers.

The staff had a chance to get to train in the new facility a few weeks before it officially opened by hosting practice run-throughs with athletes, residents assistants and other groups. Moss said the staff was impressed with what they saw when they entered the renovated space.

“That was a huge plus for us that the staff came back really enthused by what they saw in the building,” he said.

Students, too, have also been impressed, said Moss.

“It turned out fantastic. We’re very happy with it,” he said. “I think the feedback that we’ve gotten from students right from when they first walked in last weekend has been, ‘Wow,’ and ‘Oh my gosh!’ It’s been really great.”

Charlie Engh ’16, an orientation aide, was excited to see the improvements to the space.

“It’s so nice,” he said, after picking up some chicken pot pie and stopping by the Mongolian grill. “It’s much bigger, much prettier. It seems a lot easier to get around, and there’s way more options. … Last year, I mainly ate at the Caf and rarely came to Sadler just because it was always too packed, so I think this will be perfect.”