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Virginia Tech to build new engineering building thanks to $35 million donation

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A rendering of the proposed Mitchell Hall

Virginia Tech has received its largest-ever donation from an alumnus.

1958 graduate Norris Mitchell and his wife Wendy are donating $35 million dollars to the school’s engineering department.

That money will go towards a new building that will replace the more than 60-year-old Randolph Hall.

Julia Ross is dean of the College of Engineering.

“Mitchell Hall will be an exciting hub for the college. A place where students, faculty and staff want to be," Ross said during Tuesday's announcement. "It will touch every single engineering student, as well as many students outside of engineering, and will serve as a showcase building for the college right in the heart of campus.” 

When asked why he wanted to support Tech, Norris Mitchell – who’s from Carroll County – said…

“Well, they did a lot for me. And, you know, it’s payback time,” he explained. 

The project comes with a nearly $250 million dollar total price tag – which Tech will likely use state funding to pay for. It will also require General Assembly approval and school officials are hopeful construction can begin in 2023.

RADIO IQ is a service of Virginia Tech.

Nick Gilmore is a meteorologist, news producer and reporter/anchor for RADIO IQ. Nick joined the newsroom in 2016 and forecasts the weather for most of the state. He also works to get RADIO IQ’s award-winning journalism ready for broadcast.