State provides funding for Tucker Hall renovation

  • Tucker HallThe renovations to Tucker Hall could begin in early 2012 thanks to some last-minute funding allocated in the Commonwealth of Virginia's capital budget.

    Photo by Brian Whitson

    Tucker Hall

The renovations to Tucker Hall could begin in early 2012 thanks to some last-minute funding allocated in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s capital budget.

The project was part of group of construction projects at universities across the state that received funding in the state budget. William & Mary received $11 million for Tucker, said Vice President for Administration Anna Martin. The renovation has been on hold for two years due to a lack of funding.

“This project has been a priority for us and this renovation is long overdue,” Martin said. “We are very thankful the state provided funding that will allow us to get to work.”

Tucker Hall has been vacant since 2009 when the English department temporarily moved into Tyler Hall in anticipation of the Tucker project. Space in Tyler opened up following the move by the Mason School of Business into the new Miller Hall. Previously, the state allocated $563,000 for preliminary design work on the Tucker renovation but the project was on hold while the College waited for additional funding. Martin said Tucker’s roof and windows were replaced as part of work previously scheduled as part of the annual maintenance reserve.

Tucker Hall, which is also known as the “Old Library,” sits at the north side of the Sunken Garden near the Sir Christopher Wren Building. It opened in 1909 as the College’s first free-standing library and was expanded with two additions in 1923 and 1928. When Swem Library opened in 1966, the building, became home to the William & Mary Law School and was named Marshall-Wythe Hall in 1968. When the Law School moved to its current location on South Henry Street in 1980, the English Department moved into the building and it was renamed Tucker Hall in honor of St. George Tucker, who served as the second professor of law at William & Mary and studied under George Wythe. The building’s last renovation was in 1980.

“This building is an important part of Old Campus but it is in extremely poor condition,” said Martin, adding the full renovation will include an overhaul of the building’s heating and cooling and fire suppression systems as well as upgrades in technology in the classrooms, including the adjustment of room sizes. It also includes the addition of an elevator that can reach multiple levels of the building that are spread over three floors.

“These utility systems are more than 30 years old,” she said. “This project will enable us to provide a facility that meets the academic needs of faculty, staff and students in 2011.”

Design work should be completed by late 2011 or early 2012. Construction will take 12-14 months and should be complete in spring 2013.

“We’ll be back fully in business by the fall of 2013,” Martin said.