The Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center
The Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center is expected to open in 2011.
When recruiting the best students and faculty, it's important to make a good first impression.
Donors are helping the university to do just that by supporting the new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center that is expected to open in May 2011. Private contributions will cover a significant portion of the project's cost.
Work on the two-story, 18,155-square-foot building is scheduled to begin in February 2010 on land that was once part of the campus golf course, but has not been in use since construction of the nearby Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
For the moment, university visitors are likely to stop first at the small, vinyl-sided welcome center on Southgate Drive or, if they are able to find a parking space nearby, the Undergraduate Admissions office on the second floor of Burruss Hall.
The new facility will be far more convenient for visitors and make a far stronger impression on guests. The front of the new building will be built of Hokie Stone in the collegiate gothic style that is so strongly associated with our institution. The rear of the building will feature a two-story, glass atrium with views of Burruss Hall, Lane Stadium, and, in winter, the Duck Pond.
The Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center is the latest in a string of improvements to the western entrance of campus created with significant private support, including the inn and conference center, which opened in 2005, and the West Campus Signature Gateway, installed in 2008 at the corner of Prices Fork Road and West Campus Drive. That entrance is now used by more drivers than any other route into campus, according to Virginia Department of Transportation traffic surveys.
"This project is important because it establishes an appropriate front door to the university," says University Architect Scott Hurst.
Once the new building is completed, highway signs will be altered to guide motorists to the university from U.S. Route 460 via Prices Fork Road instead of Southgate Drive, says Larry Hincker, associate vice president for university relations.
Hincker will oversee a project to install interactive displays — with information on the university’s history, the life of its students, and Virginia Tech’s impact on the commonwealth — in the atrium of the new building.
"We want to create not only a functional area, where people go to get their parking passes and begin to understand how to get to whatever office they need to get to, but also to have a very special Virginia Tech experience," Hincker says.
The atrium will occupy several thousand square feet of the building, but a larger portion of it will be used by Undergraduate Admissions. Hincker says it's natural for that office to be present in a visitor center.
"Most visitors coming to campus are prospective students or their families," he explains.