Beacons of unity

Published 10:05 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017

We share the excitement of the community as we look forward to the unique renaissance that Longwood University’s Curry and Frazer halls will see beginning next summer.

The $60 million renovation project, as announced weeks ago, will result in two beautiful structures that will serve as “a source of strength for the Farmville skyline,” a term coined by Longwood officials.

The plan is bold, unique and very fitting, and we commend Longwood officials for proposing a plan that will turn the buildings into architectural assets that will beautify our town, but, more importantly, better unite and connect Longwood with the Farmville community and enhance the student residential experience.

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As behemoths stand, their backs are essentially turned toward the Longwood campus and away from South Main Street.

This renovation will change that.

The new version of the buildings, in conjunction with substantial site work and new landscaping, will open the buildings up more widely, not just to campus, but also to Farmville on South Main Street, fulfilling a key goal of Longwood’s Master Plan to link the university more closely with town.

During an interview, Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV said the buildings, as they stand, create “an actual barrier between the town and campus.” The renovation project will see well-landscaped entrances to both South Main Street and Spruce Street.

“The feedback that we got, and we talked to a lot of students, was basically … people love being around other people, but the way you set up the design of the buildings, there’s this balance to strike,” Pope said regarding the renovations of the interior of the two buildings, noting larger hallways, rooms and added commons areas to each hallway.

The plan, we think, will result in more students having increased positive interactions with downtown Farmville, additional opportunities to socialize and learn about each other through the new floor plans and two eyesores becoming beacons of unity between the university and the town.