Planning and Budgeting for the Future of BC Housing

Planning and Budgeting for the Future


Mackenzie Hammack

Interior of Blue Ridge residence hall. Following the announcement of the Rebecca Quad Project in late March, Bridgewater received student criticism concerning allocated funds to aesthetic improvements instead of addressing long-standing housing concerns.

Bridgewater, Va.- In line with the 2025 Strategic Plan, the college has plans for Wakeman Hall renovations, addressing the mold in Wright Hall and the Wampler Towers and is working on a plan for the cottages.

Current housing projects include HVAC system replacements in Wright Hall and plans to install insulation in Wampler Towers apartments to control condensation and mold. Additionally, the college plans to renovate Wakeman Hall at the same time as Bowman Hall to use similar resources and financial options on both projects. 

“The heat pumps in Wampler Towers are nearing the end of their useful life, so they don’t heat or cool as effectively, and that means they don’t control moisture as effectively,” said President David Bushman. “Those are starting to be replaced this summer. So some of it is just the ordinary wear and tear of buildings that get used a lot.”

The Cottages were taken offline for the 2021-22 school year to be used as quarantine housing, and the school is currently evaluating the best uses for the houses in the future.

Students have been critical of the condition of various housing options across campus. This criticism intensified after the announcement of the new Rebecca Quad construction as many students felt the donor funds and student tuition dollars could have been better used elsewhere on campus.

“We have to raise money on those things that the donors would be interested in and be willing to give for,” said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Steve Bright. “Typically, you don’t see a donor giving for a plumbing system.”

The college’s planned work, such as the Wakeman Hall renovations and re-evaluation of the school’s use of the cottages, are all in line with the expectations set out in the 2025 Strategic Plan.

“When we talk about identity and sustainable future, sustainable future means more than just making sure we’ve got great faculty and staff,” said Bushman.

In addition to the 2025 Strategic Plan, the college also has a long-range plan devoted to facilities maintenance that covers projects that will take place over multiple years.

Renovation priority is influenced by student maintenance requests placed throughout the previous academic year and evaluated annually by the director of the physical plant, board of trustees and the vice presidents of the college.

According to Bright, the college intends to take a more comprehensive general improvement plan for residential issues to the Board of Trustees this fall. 

“I don’t think as much focus has been on upgrading or keeping residential where it should be over the years, but that we’re in the process of creating a plan,” said Bright. “We’re in the process of identifying resources that will help us to do that over the next number of years, because you can’t just flick a switch.”