Juniors and seniors are no strangers to construction at Virginia Tech. So many projects have been announced, initiated and finished over the past few years that it seems like Virginia Tech is making a serious run at an extreme makeover.
Development has been strategic and it aims to improve the school’s impact on education and research on a national level, according to many of the project summaries online. Infrastructure and program improvements past and present lure research grants and opportunities, star faculty and boost the university’s image with companies looking for new hires.
Faculty, staff and locals have big expectations for the new face-lift. Many initiatives set into motion by the university have been well-received and should boost the schools image locally and nationally.
The new Center of the Arts at Virginia Tech is perhaps the main attraction, situated on Main Street and Alumni Mall. The $94 million project is slated to equip Virginia Tech with a strong influence in creative and performing arts education, with a performance hall with seating for 1,300 attendees, various art galleries, and an update for the Center for Creative Technologies in the Arts. The new building is scheduled for completion in September of 2013.
The school’s aim with the project is to make Virginia Tech a national force in creative arts, developing a strengthened student body with skills in creativity and critical thinking, and attracting higher-profile faculty and larger research and development funding.
Also turning heads is the new Signature Engineering Building, which is planned to become the flagship building for Virginia Tech's engineering department. The $95 million project is intended to expand multiple facets of the university's engineering program, with the project boasting state-of-the-art amenities in one large auditorium, a cafe, eight classrooms, 40 labs and 150 offices - all supporting several disciplines including the aerospace, mechanical, chemical and ocean engineering schools, as well as an expansion of the engineering education program.
The engineering department, already a strong representative of the university’s image, is looking to boost its rapport with national prestige. In 2010, the engineering department ranked fifth nationwide in a poll conducted to see how companies value recent grads looking for entry-level jobs. Virginia Tech as a whole was ranked No. 13. Much of the university’s success stems from the success of the engineering department, which also serves as an economic engine for the region, responsible for numerous jobs and strong money flow.