Workers have been hard at work at Richmond Hall, William and Mary's newest dorm. They've rewired the entire facility, synched it with the school's Wi-Fi network and replaced its roof.
They've installed security fencing around the property and filled the pool with dirt to create a green space for students. The building has new exterior stairwells and a brand new alarm system.
The dorm is set to open this August, having made the full transformation from a motel to a dormitory for students.
When the William and Mary Real Estate Foundation spent just over $3 million for the 1.609 acre property in August 2016, they did so in conjunction with plans the college had to renovate some of its student housing properties.
"The immediate reason for the purchase of the Days Inn stems from the planned renovation of Landrum Hall (which houses 225 students) during the 2017-18 academic year, followed by 'Green and Gold Village' and Botetourt Complex among others," a memo to the city from the foundation states.
The new dorm should relieve some of the pressure the college has to provide housing for its students.
"If you go by there, you can see the fences up," said Sam Jones, the college's senior vice president for finance and administration. "There have been workers every day. They are working on setting in that electric system in right now."
When all is said and done, the building will hold 180 non-freshman students. Members of the city's Planning Commission expressed concern with the number of students the college wanted to place in the area.
"This is clearly a very intense use," said Jeffrey Klee, a Colonial Williamsburg architectural historian and planning commissioner. "It doesn't matter if we're putting 180 Amish kids in there or 180 college students, this is an intensive use."
The City Council agreed to the college's proposal despite concerns from both residents and the planning commission. The commission recommended just 80 students live on the Richmond Road property.
A laundry room is still coming to Richmond Hall, which will be similar to others across campus. The exterior lighting at the dorm will be upgraded during the summer as well.
"We do plan to have the facility open for the fall 2017 semester," Jones said.
Aug. 30 is the first day of classes for students. When finished, Richmond Hall will have 23 single rooms, 75 double rooms and 2 triples. The school plans to hold those living in Richmond Hall to the same standards as any other dormitories on campus.
"According to our proposal, we plan to staff the building with five residence advisers and a head resident who will all live on site," said Brian Whitson, the college's chief communications officer. "The students living there will have to follow the same code of conduct of any student living in our residence halls."
Wright can be reached by phone at 757-345-2343.