WILLIAMSBURG -- Officials at the College of William and Mary told the governor's Advisory Legislative Budget Committee on tour here Wednesday that the No. 1 priority continues to be a new law school building.
Although the law school is among items included in a state bond referendum package, the college president, Dr. Thomas A. Graves Jr., stressed the importance of the project and said later that it would be removed from the school's capital outlay request for the next biennial budget if the state vote is favorable in November.
Arguments for the building were reinforced for the legislators when the bus taking them on the tour of the campus became stuck in a rock-covered, rain-drenched driveway at the law school building.
The last session of the General Assembly gave W&M about $486,000 for site work and several legislators joked as they came out of the stuck bus that maybe Graves planned the incident to emphasize his request.
Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr. and the legislators visited Eastern State Hospital, the final stop on the day's long tour, in a college bus, while the chartered bus was removed from the mud by a tractor.
At Eastern State, Dr. Kurt T. Schmidt, superintendent, told the group his capital outlay request for the 1978-80 biennium would be $3,216,357.
"Our top priority here is safety," he said. "The best treatment on earth is not satisfactory if there is no safety involved . . .and the patient dies just before he is to be discharged."
He said national accreditation and certification standards for the hospital "are very strong now on safety requirements."
Life Safety Code
He told Godwin that $234,070 is needed to bring one patient building up to the standards of the life safety code. Compliance with that code enables the hospital to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds for patients housed in that building.
When the building is renovated, Dr. Schmidt said, more than 600 patients of the hospital's average population of 1,586 will be eligible for those federal benefits.
Replacement of roofs on three buildings at a cost of $175,839 is the hospital's No. 2 priority item, while No. 3 is $121,900 for environmental improvements to meet certification and accreditation standards.
During the W&M stop, Godwin expressed concern about enrollment at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law if the bond referendum is not approved.
Law School Dean William B. Spong Jr. said that the American Bar Association had not addressed that problem in its accreditation proceedings, but he indicated that during informal talks the national group indicated that anything more than 250 students (200 fewer than the law school's current annual enrollment) would be overcrowding in the present facility.
Graves said that this year the law school had almost 2,400 application on this fall's entering class.
Spong added, however, that the law school library, another sore point with the ABA, would probably not have adequate facilities for 250 students within the ABA guidelines. Spong and Graves said the library is housed in four buildings.
Graves told Godwin that a change in the college's capital outlay request was made Wednesday morning when it was determined that the roofs of four buildings will have to be repaired or replaced at a price of $116,801.
Other priority items William and Mary included in its $8,499,088 capital outlay request include $650,500 for renovation of the physical plant services complex, $278,250 for utilities and site work for that renovation, $1,668,325 for renovation of old Rogers Hall fro the School of Business Administration with $36,000 more for site work, and $327,800 for completion of a demonstration.
Richmond Times-Dispatch at C-4 (May 26, 1977)
Kale, Wilford, "W&M Reemphasizes Law School Building as Priority" (1977). 1976–1985: William B. Spong, Jr.. 23.