Work continued on the demoltion of Templin Hall in the middle of July.
At a virtual meeting July 13, Vice President of Finance and Administration Steven Carpenter gave updates on a number of issues in regard to facilities at Thomas Nelson's Hampton campus.
“To me, it’s lots of really good news, with some difficulties spread in, as you would expect of any job any where you have many work locations. I think we’re looking very, very bright for the future.”
Below is a breakdown on each of the topics discussed:
Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium: While the demolition of the auditorium is almost complete, the analysis of what caused a portion of the roof in Templin Hall to collapse won’t be know until probably September. The rebuilt auditorium will have a slightly different look, but major changes will not be incorporated since insurance is covering the cost of the repairs.
“We are limited on the amount of changes we can make to the building,” Carpenter said. “They are not going to allow us to make big upgrades. It has to go back pretty much like it was in order for insurance to fund the project. … You can have some slight changes here and there.”
He said College officials, the design team and the construction company are working with the theater department to make sure all needs are met.
Room 256, which was behind the stage and adjacent to the library, will no longer exist. There will be a walkway between the library and Templin Hall, which will provide easier access to the Templin parking lot.
Carpenter stressed that just because construction work has, more or less, stopped that doesn’t mean work isn’t being done. He said a lot of behind-the-scenes work is underway, including getting approval for the design plans. Those have to go through the state, which could take a few months.
Templin Hall: The portion of the building where the roof did not collapse is not useable because it is no longer up to code. There is no running water, no operable elevator, and there are fire code issues. As a result, faculty and staff with offices in Templin will be temporarily displaced.
Carpenter, math professor Paul Tessier and the College’s Space Allocation Committee are working to identify office and classroom space for those affected. Carpenter said there is good news because there is space available on the Hampton campus to accommodate everyone.
“It’s just trying to make it work and keep people together in a logical and convenient manner,” he said.
He estimates about 35 people had offices in Templin, but there are about 50 office spaces, plus another 35 cubicles, available on the Hampton campus.
Tessier agreed space isn’t an issue right now.
“All we need to do now is just coordinate the request for space … in an efficient way so that we’re able to accommodate those faculty who would like to have office space on campus in the interim,” he said.
For anyone who needs access to their office in Templin to retrieve items, they contact their deans. College officials will work with the contractor to set up a few times and dates when items can be retrieved.
Classes could be held in Templin again as early as late spring 2023, but Carpenter estimates fall 2023 is more likely.
Air quality testing: The results of testing on 37 locations, covering almost every building on the Hampton campus, are in.
“They are far from perfect, but they’re pretty good,” Carpenter said. “The results are better than expected. We have some work to do, but they’re really, really good.”
Of the 35 indoor spaces tested, two outdoor sites were used as a baseline, 31 were considered clean. Of the remaining four, two had moderately high spore counts for mold, but one of those, the cashiers office, is no longer in use. The other was a classroom in Diggs, which had a tile with mold on it. That issue has been resolved.
That leaves just two other spots, both upstairs in Hastings Hall. The first floor of Hastings was in great shape, but Room 401 and office suite area 433 had a low-level spore count of mold. Deep-cleaning has been done to both areas, affected tiles replaced, and long-term solutions are in the works. Periodic testing will continue in Hastings.
The results of the air quality tests are expected to be posted on the College's website some time next week.
As for the roof on Hastings and the Hastings annex, it probably will be about two years before the new one is complete. The entire $2 million project is being paid for by the VCCS.
“This is really, really good news,” Carpenter said of all the work being done on the Hampton campus. “Some bad things have happened … but the end results will be a much, much better looking and better quality, more efficient campus.”
New building: The design is complete, and has been approved. Next up are the construction drawings, and then for the construction to begin.
“It’s going to happen,” Carpenter said of the new building. “We are just waiting on the actual money to hit the system office. Hopefully, that will be in the very near future. I have a meeting scheduled for a week or two to get an update. I’m hoping to get some good news there.”
He added drawings on the new building, which is replacing Diggs, Harrison, and Moore halls also will be posted on the website soon.