Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

2008 News Releases

Longwood to receive over $30 million for major construction and renovation projects

April 28, 2008

Longwood University will receive immediate funding of $29.5 million for the renovation and expansion of Bedford Hall as part of General Assembly HB/SB 5001 passed on April 23—a comprehensive bill that will provide funding, through the sale of taxpayer-backed bonds, for capital outlay planning, construction, and renovation projects for higher education, mental health, state parks, public safety, education, agriculture and economic development.

Longwood President Patricia Cormier expressed heartfelt thanks for the non-partisan effort:  “We are very pleased that the Governor and General Assembly have approved this bond bill that recognizes the importance of higher education to the people of Virginia.  We are particularly grateful for the support of our local legislators, Clarke Hogan and Frank Ruff.” 

Bedford Hall, which houses Longwood’s Art Department, is home to seven concentrations: graphic design, art education, photography, painting, crafts, art history, and drawing. In the past seven years the Art Department has expanded from 86 students majoring in art to more than 220 and is continuing to grow in popularity. 

The addition and renovation of Bedford Hall will provide enhanced facilities to ensure a higher quality of education for students at Longwood.   According to Dick Bratcher, vice president for facilities management and real property, “Bedford Hall was built in 1972 and hasn’t undergone any major renovation.  Since then, Longwood has grown from about 1,000 students to over 4,500 today.  It’s time to provide our students with the kind of facility and infrastructure that will enhance their education and make our art program more attractive to prospective students.  We’re not just doing a makeover.  We are rebuilding an entire program.” 

There are numerous issues concerning Bedford Hall that directly affect the safety of students and the productivity of Longwood’s Art Department.  Specifically, the area is not large enough to accommodate the use of several pieces of art equipment simultaneously, which has a direct impact on the learning process. There is a need for more classrooms and storage space for art projects.  The ventilation system must be updated to ensure the safety of students who are handling chemicals and using the kiln.   Additionally, as the art world evolves, there is more emphasis on electronic and digital formats of art.  When Bedford Hall was constructed in 1972, the design did not consider these new demands.

Longwood will also receive $800,000 for detailed planning for the construction of a new instructional technology (IT) center that will involve a complete renovation and conversion of French Hall as the university’s new IT center.  The planning process will take approximately 18 months and funding for the project should be appropriated in 2010-2012.

The approval of HB/SB 5001 is part of a collaborative, nonpartisan effort by members of the House, Senate, and the Governor to craft a business-like approach of setting forth a Six-Year Capital Outlay Plan.