Holden Hall Renovation: State of the art learning for generations of Hokies.
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Originally built in 1940, the expansion and renovations at Holden Hall are set to deepen research, enhance experiential learning, and boost recruiting opportunities for the Virginia Tech College of Engineering’s Mining and Minerals Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering departments.
Aloha was originally built in 1939 and opened and 940. And when it opened, it was known as the mineral industries lab. Later in the 1940s, it was named after Roy J. Holden, who was the department head of geology at Virginia Tech. In recent memory, it's been the home of mining and minerals engineering and material science and engineering, as well as the Virginia Center for colon energy research. So about every ten years Virginia Tech goes through, if you're planning process and each of the recent master plans have called for a significant build out at the North academic precinct, which is where Holden Hall is. And being that it had to single-story wings, it really was taking up a lot of valuable real estate was inefficient. And being 80 years old, there were a lot of maintenance issues. He had served as well for 80 years, but it was time for refresh after that time. We have a lot more space in the new building. Space has been kind of a very limiting factor. It's limiting on a lot of the research programs because there's only so many students so you can get in the lab safely. But it's also been limiting on the types of equipment that they can get. There's already plans for purchasing much larger pieces of equipment that will fit into these labs. They wouldn't necessarily in the, in the previous labs. So right now our faculty are all spread out. It also means that our students tend to get spread out and the labs are all spread out. And so one of the things I guess that's most exciting about the new Holden is that everyone gets to come back together again. Ultimately, the project was made possible by state staffing up with critical support and through the support of our donors, both corporate and individual donors. The renovate an expanded Holden Hall will benefit all a Virginia Tech general Simon classrooms. We're going to have students from all across Virginia Tech, multidisciplinary research for faculty from College of Science or wherever will come to partner with us to conduct research. Ultimately, that will enable us to be more competitive in gaining research dollars for funding agencies like the Department of Energy or the National Science Foundation. Having a modern up-to-date facility helps us attract and retain talent, both undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty. All that. It's important to have our strategic priorities for our department and for the Material Science and Engineering Department, our friends and neighbors. This building has been home to us since the 940. So it's really good to come home. This building represents a real expansion and improvement of our undergraduate student learning laboratories, which is exciting as well. There are a lot of active learning spaces in the building that are open to the entire campus and really allow us to stay at the leading edge of pedagogy and to pioneer new teaching strategies, which is also exciting. And now with these new facilities, I think that we can train the very best mining engineer in the country to combine any commodity that needs to be recovered to provide materials for society. For Mach mind is more formerly known as the Center for autonomous mining systems. And it has three scale pits that we can fill with any kind of mind materials. So that allows it to be really customizable. So there's nothing like this facility in the United States. A lot of other mining programs do have experimental minds, but they're real mines. And so there's somewhat, remember, this is central to our students day-to-day academic life, which is neat because they can really go straight from their classes into the mine and do experiments and handled learning there. Facilities like this are critical for the next generation of mining engineers. Virginia Tech has graduated more mining engineers than any other program in the United States in the last 10 years. So the fact that we have these spaces, it's even more important and I think a great investment in the industry.