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Design Review Board


I. Overview

William & Mary is dedicated to ensuring a high level of commitment to preserving the character of its campus as expressed in the architecture of its buildings and grounds. The university’s 2015 Master Plan and the Campus Precinct Framework & Design Guidelines of 2003 provide direction to those whose responsibility it is to develop and maintain a unified and complementary campus structure. The Design Review Board (DRB) provides oversight to this process.

II. Scope

The DRB oversees design implementation in conformance with the goals and objectives of the Master Plan and Design Guidelines. The DRB reviews proposed changes to the exterior of any university facility for conformance with the university's architectural design guidelines. This includes the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) and ancillary campuses.

Types of projects subject to review include, but are not limited to: construction, exterior renovation/modification, site work, landscaping, and statues/monuments.  As part of its oversight of the implementation of the Campus Master Plan, the DRB shall consider proposals to name and rename structures on campus and to contextualize historical statues and monuments in accordance with the William & Mary Guidelines for Naming and Renaming.

All major and minor projects are subject to review. As an example, placement of a cell tower on a roof, while not classified as a major capital project, would still fall within the DRB's purview.

The DRB may recommend design elements for architects to consider as projects move through the design phases. Specifically, the DRB will review and make recommendations at three stages:

  1. Site selection and design intent
  2. Schematic design
  3. Preliminary design
The DRB shall consider proposals to name and rename structures on campus and to contextualize historical statues and memorials in accordance with the W&M principles and guidelines for naming and renaming.
III. Board Composition

DRB membership shall include, but is not limited to, the following members: 

  • Chair - Chair of the BOV Administration, Buildings & Grounds Committee
  • Vice Chair - Chief Operating Officer
  • Member from the BOV Administration, Buildings & Grounds Committee
  • Chief Facilities Officer
  • Director of the Historic Campus
  • Chair of the Committee on Sustainability
  • Architectural Historian, Colonial Williamsburg
  • Architect at large 
  • Up to three at large members

Staff to the Board shall include, but is not limited to:

  • Director, Facilities Planning, Design and Construction (FPDC)
  • Associate Budget Director
  • Project Manager (rotating based on project)
  • Executive Director, W&M Real Estate Foundation

The DRB may call upon experts as needed.  The President may appoint additional members or staff to the DRB as needed.

IV. Meetings

Quorum: Six members, one of whom is either Chair or Vice Chair. Members may participate by phone or other electronic means.

Record: Minutes will be kept by staff to the DRB.

Action: Requires only a simple majority within a quorum.

Schedule: Meets in conjunction with Board of Visitors meetings and as needed in order to meet critical project schedule dates.

V. Submissions to the DRB

All presentations (site selection/design intent, schematic design, and preliminary design) will include at a minimum:

  • A project sponsor
    • A project sponsor should be a member of the President’s Executive Leadership Team
    • Proposed projects that emerge from campus committees, studies, etc. should secure a project sponsor prior to moving forward with a concept or design
  • A statement of defined scope and purpose
  • An established budget to which any design must conform
    • The budget must include the proposed funding source(s)

Standard site selection presentations will include at a minimum:

  • Topographical map of sites considered with proposed footprint imposed
  • Selection criteria
  • Advantages and disadvantages of each site

Standard architectural (schematic design & preliminary design) presentations would include at a minimum:

  • Building footprint
  • Elevations of all four sides
  • Demonstration of compliance with order and elements of design guidelines
  • Demonstration of compliance with architectural zone (Traditional to Transitional)
  • Demonstration of actual building materials and mock-ups as required at the preliminary stage.
VI. Authority

The DRB is advisory to the President of the university who remains subject to the oversight of the Board of Visitors.

Updated September 25, 2020