Woods Creek Apartments Get Major Updates By the start of the 2018-19 academic year, the 1970s-era apartments will sport a fresh exterior look and extensively remodeled interiors.
Washington and Lee University students who haven’t spent time on campus this summer will return in the fall to find that Woods Creek Apartments have undergone an extreme makeover. The renovation, which began in May, includes exterior improvements and continues the interior remodel that began in summer 2016.
Woods Creek Apartments, which are made up of three separate buildings, were constructed in the 1970s to house students of the new W&L School of Law. They were designed by architect Fred Cox of Marcellus Wright Cox Architects in Richmond using the Brutalist style, which was popular from the 1950s through the 1970s and was descended from the modernist movement. But the apartments, which will house 178 students during the 2018-19 school year, have not seen much in the way of updates since they were built.
In 2016, the interior of Woods Creek Central was remodeled. This summer, the East building is getting an interior remodel and all three buildings are being renovated on the exterior. The project will finish up next summer with an interior remodel of the West building and the addition of outdoor gathering places behind the apartments, which overlook Woods Creek.
Those moving into Central and East this fall will enjoy new granite countertops, cabinets and appliances in the kitchens. They also will find fresh interior paint and flooring, as well as new bathroom fixtures, ceiling fans and furniture, including full-size beds (Woods Creek West also will get the new, larger beds this summer). Most exciting is the addition of a stackable washer-and-dryer unit in every apartment in Central and East, replacing the basement laundry rooms of yore. Those old laundry rooms are being remodeled for use as common areas for gathering or studying.
The exterior overhaul has involved removing the old wood panels from the sides of the concrete buildings and replacing them with new cement board panels. Fresh paint in hues of cream and mocha will complete the face-lift.
Finally, each building will be outfitted with a fresh air unit that will bring in air from outside, then condition it and distribute it throughout the apartments.
In early July, the apartments were caged in scaffolding and crawling with some 80 construction workers each day, but by the time Fall Term begins, the buildings will be ready to welcome students for a new academic year. One of those residents will be Reggie Zhao ’21, who has been interning with the University Facilities office this summer. In that role, Zhao has kept a close eye on the progress in what will soon be her new home.
“I think it’s pretty exciting,” she said. “It’s nice to see everything coming together. I’m looking forward to moving in.”