Anyone who has walked past the Batten Student Center in recent days has seen the construction vehicles working more and more often. Brock Commons is now a busy and loud construction site after lying quiet for a long time.
The construction was delayed because of issues with the steel supply chain. Now students can see the structure of Brock Commons being built at any point in the day. The foundation is complete and the floor for the main banquet area has been poured. Construction for Brock Commons is expected to be completed by February of 2022.
Supply chain issues have also delayed the construction at Clarke Hall, but materials are expected to arrive within the next two months.
For DeFord Manor, construction is expected to be completed within a month. The manor, named for Trustees Bob and Nancy DeFord, includes The Shelhorse Lawn and Ponds, named for Bill Shelhorse, a graduate of the class of 1970 and a longtime Trustee and supporter of Virginia Wesleyan University. This is meant to be a place of gathering and reflection for students and alumni alike.
The garden and pool area behind DeFord Manor is to be called Virginia Oveda Williams DeFord Terrace in honor of Bob DeFord’s mother, who was a teacher and the reason for DeFord’s interest in education.
Additionally, a Japanese Garden will hold ten trees of the Japanese Cherry, Japanese Snowball and Japanese Holly varieties. This garden behind DeFord Manor will be named for David R. Black, who was a university president for almost thirty years and executive-in-residence at VWU. He played an influential role in establishing the Batten Honors College, the Work and Learn Program and the Lakeland University Japan and VWU Global (Japan) collaborative.
Construction for DeFord Manor is expected to be completed by the middle of November, according to President Miller’s Nota Bene from Sept. 20. A formal dedication of the facility will be held in February.
Hailey Schumacher, the president of VWU’s Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, has high hopes for the utilization of DeFord Manor. “As President of a sorority on campus, the DeFord Manor seems vital to have more locations to host events and hold conferences since there really aren’t many conference spaces on campus itself that have been newly renovated,” Schumacher said.
Recently, President Miller and the Sodexo staff toured the catering kitchen at DeFord Manor. The Sodexo staff, who provide dining services at the Boyd Dining Center, will be able to extend their services to events hosted at DeFord Manor.
Additionally, the soccer venue has been renamed the Tassos Paphites Soccer Complex to honor Tassos Paphites, an alumnus and current trustee from the Class of 1979. Paphites was the first athlete to be inducted into the VWU Athletic Hall of Fame. The Soccer Complex, which includes Foster Field and the Trinder Center, is currently undergoing upgrades and will be receiving a new scoreboard in the next two months.
By Rhian Tramontana