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Housing & Dining Comprehensive Facilities Plan

William & Mary has announced a long-term, comprehensive plan to modernize and revitalize its residential and dining facilities. The project, which aligns with both the goals of Vision 2026 and the 2015 Campus Master Plan, spans 10 years over three phases to address aging residence and dining halls and ensure they advance the integration of living and learning on campus. Currently, the average age of residential facilities at W&M is 54 years, and 42 years for dining. 

Under the plan, facilities that are reaching the end of their useful life will be replaced with modern facilities that speak to the needs of the students of 2022 and beyond, including shared and flexible social and study spaces, current and upgradable technology and modern climate-control systems.

Frequently Asked Questions
A one-table table with answers to common questions about the housing and dining plan.
What precipitated the Housing & Dining Comprehensive Facilities Plan?

An inventory of William & Mary’s residential facilities considered the roughly 5,000 beds on the main Williamsburg campus. Of those, a full 4,089 beds, or 80%, require renovation or replacement. Fewer than 1,000 beds are projected to not need renovation or major upgrades in the next decade. On a residential campus, the quality of education W&M offers depends on providing quality residential and dining facilities that meet the needs of today’s students.

Does the plan represent an expansion of William & Mary?

The program speaks to enrollment projections in the next 10 years and beyond. Based on a demand analysis and planned enrollment growth, W&M’s consultant recommended that the current number of beds was sufficient to meet the needs of our projected student body. In the end, W&M arrives at about the same number of beds as the university currently carries, in fewer facilities. The plan has some flexibility – particularly in the later phases – to scale or up or down as needed. Similarly, the number of dining halls remains stable at three, but are significantly upgraded.

What about plans to increase enrollment with “smart growth”?

The phased approach for housing and dining accounts for the smart enrollment growth plan already underway and provides predictable residential capacity even as the university takes housing facilities offline for renovations. As previously announced, William & Mary is phasing-in approximately 600 additional undergraduates to its four-year enrollment totals by the year 2025. This plan accounts for that growth and projections over the next decade.

What is the scale of the new residential and dining facilities, and how will they respond to the surrounding historic community?

Detailed design work has not yet been undertaken, but conceptually, the tallest residential halls would be consistent with our current building standards. The conceptual plan takes into account the surrounding campus character and the areas of Williamsburg in which we are located, as well as our close proximity to Colonial Williamsburg. This is especially important along Jamestown Road (the current Campus Center site), the area in which the plan envisions a new entryway to campus that signals that families and visitors have truly arrived at William & Mary. This area especially must be designed with care, and even at the conceptual level of this plan, W&M worked closely with the design firm to ensure the university was pursuing options that thoughtfully respond to the community character.

What new features are offered to residential students in the plan?

It’s exciting to meet the expressed needs of residential students and to plan for their future. In surveys, students have expressed that they need adequate and flexible social and study spaces (both indoor and outdoor), appropriate technology and audio-visual integration, all-gender bathrooms, and accessible design in physical and acoustic spaces. And of course, ensuring that all of the rooms offer climate control is high on students’ wish list. Much of this is difficult and costly to retrofit into buildings that on average date to the 1960s.

All of these enhancements respond to student’s desires to socialize and study more where they live. Ultimately their residence halls are a key area in which they form lifelong relationships that benefit them intellectually, emotionally and professionally. 

What is included in each of the three phases?

Phase 1

  • Add new housing to complete the Lemon-Hardy site
  • Renovate Old Dominion and Monroe
  • Take down Yates Hall to build West 1 Housing
  • Build new West Campus dining
  • Clear Campus Center site for new construction
  • Demolish Green & Gold Village and Commons Dining

Phase 2

  • Redevelop the Campus Center site for housing, dining, bookstore and undergraduate Admission
  • Redevelop Randolph site for West 2 Housing
  • Vacate Ludwell Apartments (leased)
  • Redevelop Richmond Hall site and new property development
  • Upgrade systems at One Tribe Place
  • Demolish Botetourt Complex

Phase 3

  • Develop West 3 Housing (site TBD)
  • Renovate residence halls for targeted replacements and upgrades (Barrett, Jefferson, Bryan, Sorority Complex)
  • Renovate Graduate Complex apartments
  • Demolish DuPont Hall
What are the plans for Willis Hall?
Under the plan, a new Willis Hall will be constructed. In April 2021, Willis Hall was named in honor of Hulon Willis Sr., M.Ed. '56, who was the first African-American student to enroll at William & Mary.
What are the estimated costs of the plan and how does W&M plan to fund it?

W&M currently estimates the below, with the caveat that forecasts become less reliable in the out years, when inflationary and other pressures become more difficult to anticipate.

Phase 1

  • Anticipated cost $234 million
  • University will leverage W&M expertise for renovations and public-private partnership for demolition and new construction

Phase 2

  • Anticipated cost $350 million
  • Campus Center project to be completed in partnership with the W&M Real Estate Foundation and the West Housing Site project to be completed with a public-private partnership

Phase 3

  • Anticipated cost $100-200 million
  • Public-private partnership for new construction
What are the significant benefits to using public-private partnerships for residential and dining facilities?

First, they allow William & Mary to move “at the speed of business,” undertaking and completing projects much more quickly than going it alone; this is key in a project of this scope and duration. They also take education affordability into account; using a public-private partnership reduces the impact on student room rates, which are driven in part by the university’s debt service on the facilities. For the university, they also reduce the impact on W&M’s debt capacity, and transfer some of the financial risk and operational costs. At the same time, the residence programs remain purely W&M in character through the partnerships; Student Affairs maintains Residence Life programming, the room pricing structure will be aligned with W&M and building standards must be maintained consistent with other facilities.

How sustainable is the new plan?

The plan includes important sustainability measures. First, the number of residential buildings decreases from 70 to 55, representing inherent efficiency. The three-phased plan will make use of modern materials and will pursue LEED certification. W&M is also investigating alternative energy sources. It’s also important to note that maintaining and constantly repairing/renovating older buildings that average 55 years old to meet current needs often requires a higher environmental cost than building with new, efficient materials and modern design.