The Virginia Institute of Marine Science dedicated two new research buildings-Andrews Hall and the Seawater Research Laboratory-in an April 16 ceremony that highlighted the many contributions made to VIMS and the College of William and Mary by the late Senator Hunter B. Andrews and his wife Cynthia.
Andrews Hall is a state-of-the-art 4-story building that includes 39 laboratories, a distance-learning classroom, an electronics shop, conference rooms and spaces for faculty, technicians, students and visiting scientists. It currently houses programs to enhance aquaculture, better manage blue crabs, restore sea grass, track contaminants, control invasive species, model Chesapeake Bay dynamics, unravel food webs, understand climate change, explore alternative energy and develop autonomous underwater vehicles, among many other programs.
The dedication speakers, many of whom were personal friends of the Andrews, gave heartfelt thanks for the couple's dedication to marine science, VIMS, William and Mary and the Commonwealth. Senator Andrews was among the Commonwealth's most compelling advocates for higher education and marine research during 32 years in the Virginia Senate.
Cynthia Andrews' own passion for marine research made her a valuable member of the VIMS Council for many years.
The 45,000 square-foot Seawater Research Laboratory, fed by an intake from the York River, provides 900 gallons per minute of treated seawater to support state-mandated research on finfish and shellfish.
An "acre under roof," it includes a multi-purpose space with numerous holding tanks, a disease-challenge facility and a high bay for handling large oceanographic instruments. It also features biological safety laboratories that will allow VIMS scientists to study aquatic pathogens and waterborne pollutants, including their effects on animal and human health.
The two buildings were financed by a higher education bond passed by Virginia voters in 2002.
"Andrews Hall and the Seawater Lab have transformed our campus and modernized our lab capabilities," says VIMS Dean and Director John Wells. "They are central to our mission of providing research, education and advisory service in marine science to government, citizens and industry in the Commonwealth, the nation and the world."