New building underway

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, April 5, 2018

A new admissions building for Longwood University is set to be under construction following graduation ceremonies in May, Farmville Town Manager Gerald Spates and Longwood Associate Vice President of Campus Planning and Construction Louise Waller confirmed.

The approximately 20,000-square foot building will have two stories and be located at Bicentennial Park across from Longwood’s Ruffner Hall at the intersection of Buffalo, High and Randolph streets.

The building will replace the admission building’s former location on Crafts Lot, located off of Buffalo Street.

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“In many ways, it will be our welcome center to campus,” Waller said about the function of the new location.

Longwood’s graduate and undergraduate ceremonies will take place May 18 and 19, respectively.

The admissions office currently operates in Lancaster Hall. Crafts Lot is vacant, Waller said. Glavé & Holmes Architecture, based in Richmond, is the engineer for the new location at Bicentennial Park.

During a work session in the Town of Farmville on Wednesday, Spates reported that a parking lot will be built for the admissions building on St. George Street.

Regarding the project’s proximity to Johns Memorial Episcopal Church and Farmville United Methodist Church on High Street, Waller said, “We have worked closely with our neighbors throughout the design process and made sure that they were aware of the project and how it was progressing along the way.”

Spates confirmed that a meeting between the town, Longwood University and representatives of the two churches took place recently.

Regarding potential demolitions as a result of the project, Crafts Lot is set for demolition, Waller said.

Waller said the project’s construction is estimated to last 14 months.

Spates proposed that after construction, diagonal parking spaces should be installed on Buffalo Street and that the street be made a one-way road that would lead toward St. George Street. The parking would be metered, Spates proposed, except in the case of when church services would be taking place.

Spates said making the street a one-way road would eliminate potential complications of leaving Randolph and Buffalo streets to enter traffic on High Street.

“You really take your life into your hands,” Spates said. “If you made it one way, going in (to Buffalo street), the only street it is going to affect is Buffalo Street.”

Council members were positive about the building’s appearance but expressed concern about the building site.

At-Large Councilman Thomas Pairet said, “It looks like an awful lot in a mighty small spot.”

The Farmville Town Council will present the new admissions building during its meeting Wednesday at 7 p.m., following a public hearing at 6:45 p.m.