Construction projects offer improvements to Roanoke College campus

A worker from Adventures in Elegance, a Grafton, W.Va. architectural sculpture business, performs work on a column at West Hall.

A worker from Adventures in Elegance, a Grafton, W.Va. architectural sculpture business, performs work on a column at West Hall.

Roanoke College is on the rise in more ways than one, with several campus construction projects recently completed and others soon to be finished. Projects include:
  • construction of a new residence hall
  • new computer labs and new column ‘capitals’ at West Hall
  • a parking lot on Hawthorn Road, along with two community tennis courts
  • new parking signage
  • renovation of the Olin Hall courtyard.
The summer months provide a convenient time for construction work, with fewer students on campus and an overall slowing down of campus activity. Larry Walker, manager of planning and projects, said the College is very sensitive to the campus disruption that can come with construction projects and tries to implement the largest projects during breaks in the school schedule.

Asked about the overall benefit of construction projects, Walker said, “We never forget that students have many choices when selecting a college. Their decisions are based on many factors; however, there is no doubt that the visual image that the prospective student and parent take with them is paramount in their ultimate decision. Our work helps to form that mental image.”

Construction of the new residence hall, on the site of the current parking lot for Caldwell Allegheny Ritter (C.A.R.) residence hall, began in May. The residence hall will open to students in the fall of 2012 and enhance the development of the “Athletic Quad.”  Branch Associates, a Roanoke construction company, is overseeing project construction.  The $13 million project is registered to be certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building and will be the College’s second following the completion of Lucas Hall in 2010.

In West Hall, the two computer labs have been relocated to the first floor and moved into two larger rooms. There are now 28 to 30 computer stations per room with state-of-the-art computer equipment. Flexibility will be enhanced through the modular component of a new raised floor. This will accommodate new room configurations, allowing for design freedom in the future.

West Hall construction projects also include replacement of the capitals at the tops of columns located at the entrance fronting East Main Street. The old capitals had started to deteriorate and break away, making replacement a necessity.

The new parking lot on Hawthorn Road was completed this spring and replaces the C.A.R. parking lost to the new residence hall construction. The new lot will be ready for use when students return to campus in August. The lot, with a capacity of approximately 320, will provide additional parking for all residential students. Roanoke’s classic brick pavers will be used on the walkway from the main campus to the new parking lot. Two new tennis courts have been built adjacent to the parking lot to provide recreational courts on the main campus. Emergency “blues phones” have been installed at both ends of the parking lot to provide additional security.

New parking signage will be installed before classes begin in August to accommodate new parking lot designations. Parking lots and vehicle decals will be coordinated by color. More information on the updates to campus parking can be found at

A total renovation of the Olin Hall courtyard – Olin Plaza – is under way. Renovation will include the addition of green space and new landscaping, improved handicap access to the Antrim chapel and amphitheater, new outside art exhibits and lighting upgrades.

Roanoke College, a classic liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a beautiful, undergraduate setting. Roanoke is one of just seven percent of colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review lists Roanoke as one of the “Best 376 Colleges” in its 2012 guidebook, which includes the top nine percent of colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks Roanoke the number seven “Up-and-coming National Liberal Arts College.”

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: August 17, 2011
Contact Name: Public Relations
Contact Phone: 540-375-2282
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