RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A vacant building at 708 W. Grace Street was demolished recently as part of a plan to build new Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) dorms for honors students.
The property will be part of the site for a new honors dorm facility, which is expected to start construction in 2024 and be finished by Fall 2026, according to VCU Vice President for Administration Meredith Weiss.
According to the VCU Master Plan, the final Honors College Housing facility is planned for 700-716 W. Grace Street. The project is in response to increased demand for on-campus housing, but the new facility will not only include dorms. According to Weiss, the facility will also provide office space, teaching space, collaborative areas, and event space for the Honors College program.
The university’s honors students are currently housed in a 177-bed residence hall nearby, which will continue to house students until the final construction project is complete. The new dorm is expected to have a higher capacity than the current building, although the exact size has yet to be determined.
VCU also plans to demolish the current Facilities and Financial Services Building at 700 W. Grace Street as part of the site for the new dorm. That demolition is planned for November 2023.
This construction is part of the university’s Six-Year Capital Plan, which includes construction projects for the university from 2022 to 2028. This plan also includes notable construction projects like an Arts and Innovation Academic Building at the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets, which will begin construction in September 2023, and a new IT center at 707 W. Broad Street, which will begin construction this August.
Prior to being vacated, 708 W. Grace Street used to house Sally Bell’s Kitchen, a local eatery. Sally Bell’s now has a new location at 2337 W. Broad Street.