There aren’t second chances when it comes to first impressions — that was the rationale behind the construction of the new Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center.
Adjacent to the Inn at Virginia Tech, the building’s location was purposefully chosen to show perspective students the university’s picturesque sights, Larry Hincker, a Tech spokesperson, said.
After all, the 18,100-square-foot, LEED-certified building is situated on the highest part of campus — giving those inside ample views of the surrounding landscape.
Those of the Visitor’s Center and Undergraduate Admissions moved into the new building, which was a $10.5 million privately funded project, July 5, a month after construction was completed. Construction began in April 2010.
With the admissions offices now in the new building, there are empty ones in Burruss Hall, which will be reallocated, Hincker said.
“Burruss looks like a big place,” he said. “But there are people crammed into tiny corners all over the building.”
Mildred Johnson, the director of Undergraduate Admissions, shared similar thoughts.
“We used to have to fit into a space,” she said. “Now it’s nice to have a space that’s fit for us.”
The new location will also eliminate the need for perspective students and their families to find parking on campus, near Burruss Hall.
The white house on Southgate Drive — which Hincker called “an embarrassment” — that previously housed the Visitor’s Center is going to remain vacant.
The house will eventually be considered part of a runway protection zone, which is an area off an aircraft runway end to protect property and people on the ground. The Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport’s runway will expand from 4,500 feet to 5,500 feet, causing a need for new zoning.
Johnson said with the new building, there won’t be a chance for visitors to overlook the house, awestruck at the sight of Lane Stadium.
And new signs will redirect traffic toward the university onto the Prices Fork exit off U.S. Route 460 — leading motorists to the building, which is a “great, simple place to find, even for a person that’s never been to Blacksburg,” said Gary Jackson, an assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions.