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Student Wellness Improvements

Student Wellness Improvements Rendering
Proposed exterior rendering of upcoming student wellness exterior improvements in War Memorial Hall.

Improvements to enhance health and wellness on the Virginia Tech campus will include significant renovations to War Memorial Hall and portions of McComas Hall. The renovations are part of the university’s commitment to supporting holistic student well-being through enhanced student health, wellness, counseling, and recreational sport resources and programs.

War Memorial Hall will be fully renovated with 247,600 gross square feet (GSF) of renovated space and 15,300 GSF of new building. Upon completion, War Memorial Hall will house Hokie WellnessRecreational SportsSchool of Education faculty offices, and research and office space for the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise (HNFE) that will bring together health science with hands-on application of exercise, health, and well-being.

War Memorial renovations will include new, refreshed, and expanded exercise and activity spaces; dedicated functional fitness space; mind and body studio; dance studio; teaching weight room; wet classroom for aquatic and safety instruction; utility upgrades, including air conditioning; modernized general assignment classrooms; student gathering spaces; and administrative offices. Newly modernized locker rooms and bathrooms will include family changing rooms and all-gender spaces.

A partnership between Recreational Sports and HNFE will bring a performance center, which will allow practical application of the research done by HNFE. The space will include a teaching weight room, an athletic training space, two teaching classrooms, consultation space, and fitness assessment equipment, including a BodPod and DEXA scan.

Hokie Wellness will occupy the third floor of War Memorial Hall. There will be an entrance to the building on a third-floor bridge from Payne Hall. From that entrance, patrons will enter a well-being hub, which will include wellness peer-education centers, mindfulness and reflective spaces, a teaching kitchen, a recovery lounge, consultation rooms, and other features which expand preventative and educational well-being programs for students and employees.

The School of Education’s offices and classrooms will be housed in the historic, Drillfield-facing front portion of War Memorial Hall with renovated space that will enhance the learning environment.

A beautifully designed space will link the historic front of the building to the high visibility activity and well-being portions in the rear of the facility. This will provide a gathering space for students near the center of campus in an environment that promotes well-being and a sense of community.

In addition, this comprehensive student wellness improvements capital project will include Schiffert Health Center. Located in McComas Hall, the center will be renovated and expanded to provide additional lab space, more exam and treatment rooms, improved specialty clinic spaces, and a new main entrance for check-in.

Campus impacts

Update - March 4, 2020: War Memorial Gym timeline

Update - Jan. 16, 2020: War Memorial Gym to temporarily reopen on Jan. 21


Recreation spaces in War Memorial Hall will operate as normal for fall 2019 and will close at the conclusion of fall semester. Schiffert Health Center and Cook Counseling Center will remain unaffected during the 2019-20 academic year, as work in McComas Hall will not begin until late spring of 2020.

It is expected War Memorial Hall will be offline approximately 18-24 months, and reopen in the fall of 2021. To reduce the impact of the renovation project on the campus community, several steps will be taken — including setting up a temporary covered gym at the tennis courts on Beamer Way and extending the hours of operation at McComas — to deliver recreational and fitness programs while the facility is offline.

The campus community is encouraged to join the War Renovations Google Group to stay up-to-date on the latest project advancements.

Temporary structure

Construction will begin soon on a tension fabric structure at the South Rec Tennis courts along Beamer Way. The 40,000-square-foot dome-like facility will include six courts for basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and other court-based activities along with student organization reservations. Providing space for sport clubs, martial arts, and intramural sports will ensure that McComas Hall’s courts remain open for patrons’ pick-up play.

Temporary structure video (click to play)

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Extended hours at McComas Hall and employee memberships

To better serve the exercise needs of the campus community in McComas Hall, memberships will be available to employees, retirees, and long-term guests. Hours of operation at McComas Hall will also be extended to open at 5 a.m. as well as remaining open during holiday breaks. 

Employees will have the option to purchase a membership to use McComas Hall. There is a discounted option for early bird exercisers who would like access to McComas from 5 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekdays and have full access on weekends. All Access Membership allows members access all hours McComas is open. For a full list of Spring 2020 hours please visit this website here. Both memberships will begin on Dec. 12, 2019 to allow access immediately after War Memorial Hall closes.

Please contact Recreational Sports for more information.