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Looking up at the construction of Holden Hall with a dramatic blue cloudy sky.

Video: Holden Hall rounds the corner to completion

The newly renovated and expanded building, home to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, is set to reopen in spring 2022.

Some things seem to never change. Since 1940, Holden Hall had been a mainstay of the north academic quadrant on the Virginia Tech campus, a modest building of Hokie stone that was named for Roy Jay Holden, a professor and head of the geology program. For 80 years, the building housed classrooms, labs, and faculty offices for several programs, including the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as well as the Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering. 

But in 2019, things did start to change for Holden Hall, and quickly. Since that time, the building has undergone an extensive renovation of the original Holden Hall and has added an expansion with the new annex and west wing, with the full structure nearing completion and set to reopen in spring 2022. The reopened building will boast over 100,000 combined gross square feet – including 80,000 gross square feet of new construction – offering state-of-the art learning, collaboration, and research facilities for faculty and students.  

One such facility, the Center for Autonomous Mining Systems – informally known as the mock mine – will provide an on-campus experimental mine for hands-on student activity and faculty research. As the only experimental mine of its kind in the nation, it will house three scaled pits that can be filled with any type of mined material, allowing students to move seamlessly from the classroom to on-site mining experiments. 

The new Holden Hall will not only benefit the two engineering programs that call it home, but will also provide general assignment classrooms and interdisciplinary research space for the entire university community.  

Video by Spencer Roberts, photos by Peter Means and  Sarah Myers

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