Virginia Tech’s attempts to improve athletic department facilities will continue thanks to the generous donation of James “J” and Renae Pearson. The Pearsons’ gift jumpstarts a new $16 million project to renovate the Bowman Room for a completely new purpose.
“The new fourth-floor renovations and new nutrition/dining center will aid us in recruiting, enhancing the student-athlete experience, generating revenue and donor stewardship, and continuing the upward trajectory of our athletics brand at Virginia Tech,” athletic director Whit Babcock said. “We still have a way to go in fundraising, but J. and Renae helped jumpstart this project and we are ready to announce this initiative publicly.”
The Bowman Room will expand to 9,000 square feet, and there will be a seamless connection to the concourse of Cassell Coliseum. In other words, the wall between Cassell and the Jamerson Center will come down.
The new Bowman Room (which may not be called the Bowman Room anymore) will be used for donor/fan hospitality, recruiting efforts, graduation ceremonies, meetings, and other functions, according to Tech’s press release. The main function will be to serve as a nutrition/dining area for Virginia Tech’s 579 student-athletes.
The Bowman Room was built in 1982, and it is still used for Hokie Club functions before football and basketball games. However, it has no effect on Tech recruiting, and the size of the athletic department has outgrown the Bowman Room. The planned changes will help the athletic department cater to its fans, recruit new student-athletes, and provide for its current student-athletes.
Construction is slated to begin in 2018, but that is subject to Board of Visitors Approval and more fundraising.
For more information, here’s a link to Virginia Tech’s complete press release.