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News Briefs


Recent visitors to Virginia Wesleyan’s Blocker Auditorium know that the nearly 45-year-old lecture hall has seen better days—but that’s about to change. Blocker Hall, VWC’s natural sciences building, is scheduled to receive more than a half million dollars in renovations this summer due to the generosity of three private donors. Construction will begin following Commencement and is slated for completion before the start of the fall 2014 semester. Auditorium renovations will include updated seating, new flooring and ceiling, and improved lighting and HVAC systems, among other improvements. In addition, a newly landscaped entryway overlooking Smith Drive will be implemented at the building’s North Entrance along with the creation of a foyer and reception area. Both the auditorium and North Entrance will be made more handicap accessible. Blocker 103, a room previously used for storage, will be reconstructed as a molecular cell biology lab that will support up to three undergraduate research projects per semester. Blocker 230 will be transformed from a faculty office into a microtome project lab, allowing resources for up to two more undergraduate research projects per semester. “I teach in the auditorium and it will be wonderful to improve the facilities for that lecture and presentation space,” says Maynard Schaus, professor of biology and chair of the Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “The upgraded facilities help enhance the quality of our teaching and our ability to mentor undergraduate research.” Construction will be done by R.D. Lambert & Son, who also completed Blocker’s $2.8 million modernization of laboratory spaces in 2010 and 2011. For more information or to further support these initiatives, contact Suzanne Savage at 757.233.8736   or