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Hampden-Sydney College
Venable Hall

Venable Hall is the second oldest dormitory on the Hampden-Sydney College campus and was built in sections between 1824-1831. Portions of the building were designed and constructed by Dabney Cosby, one of the workmen of Thomas Jefferson who left his mark throughout south central Virginia and North Carolina. Venable Hall was originally constructed to be classrooms, a chapel, library, and student rooms on the Union Theological Seminary campus. The building was then converted to a dormitory in the early 20th century when H-SC took ownership of the building. Extensive investigations, both physical and documentary, have reveled multiple alterations to the building's circulation and systems, many of which have created egress issues as related to modern code. 


MCWB was retained to conduct a Feasibility Study that began by surveying the building as a whole through the use of 3D technology including drone photogrammetry and laser scanning. The survey helped develop accurate floor plans to conduct a code analysis and assess the conditions of MEP systems, windows, building structure, and finishes. Objectives of the Feasibility Study included providing recommendations for treatment of all building components; providing design options that included additions to the building to address egress issues and provide ADA solutions, upgrading the whole building to serve the modern needs of incoming college students; providing 3D color renderings at bathrooms, dorm rooms, hallways, elevators, and public spaces; and developing cost estimates for the design options that were provided. 

Once the Feasibility Study was completed, MCWB was tasked with developing a physical dorm room mock-up based on extensive physical evidence discovered during the Study. The mock-up dorm restoration, including investigative phase, was completed in a period of 3 months. The rest of the building is currently under construction and includes a rear building addition and site improvements. 

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