Virginia Tech approves more than $160 million in capital projects

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- With the ever-growing student population at Virginia Tech, school officials are constantly working to enhance and expand the facilities on campus. This week, the Board of Visitors voted to begin work on more than $160 million in capital projects.

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“They’ve given us the green light to go ahead and more forward,” university spokesman Mark Owczarski said. “When you’re looking at the development of our campus, there’s a lot of planning that goes into it, and for many years, Virginia Tech has been working to meet the needs of a growing student body.”

Owczarski said they were given the go-ahead for four new projects at a Board of Visitors meeting this week.

“These four projects represent the next wave of change at Virginia Tech,” Owczarski said. “It’s the green light to begin the process of building these buildings, and that’s really exciting because that’s what is going to make Virginia Tech a far better and stronger university.”

They plan to build a new undergraduate science laboratory. That project will be built near the intersection of West Campus Drive and Perry Street.

It is estimated to cost around $74.2 million. The university called it a top capital outlay priority in a news release.

Another major undertaking will be the renovations and new construction at War Memorial and McComas halls, all focused on student wellness. $63 million will go toward improving facilities for exercise and recreational sports, along with improved spaces for the School of Education and the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Exercise.

New livestock and poultry research facilities will come with a $22.5 million dollar price tag.

Virginia Tech plans to build 10 facilities, spanning Plantation Road Corridor, Smithfield Horse Center, Kentland Farm and Glade Road Poultry Research Center. The Board of Visitors also approved tearing down 17 older buildings.

$4.9 million will go toward supporting student athlete training. With the funds, Virginia Tech said it will renovate and expand the Merryman Center weight room.

At Monday’s board of visitors meeting, officials also discussed guidelines to have public comment when increasing tuition and fees at the school.

“Should we go before the board and the board consider a resolution for increasing tuition and fees for Virginia undergraduate students, then we would make available to the public, to our students, to our parents an opportunity to voice their opinions.”

There is no official timeline on when the projects will begin on campus. It all depends on when they can hire contractors and get everything in place for each individual project.

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