Walker Building Revitalization

Hear from Bradford Swann '99

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Walker Building Revitalization

When J. Carter Walker returned to Woodberry Forest in 1897 to assist his father, Robert Stringfellow Walker, and to become Woodberry’s first headmaster, father and son quickly began planning for a new school building.

After Mr. Walker mortgaged the Woodberry property to secure $30,000 and called upon friends, neighbors, and relatives for loans, work on what was then called the Main Building began in 1898. The foundation was made from bricks fired where the third green of Woodberry’s golf course now sits. Trees from Woodberry and surrounding farms were logged for timber to frame out the rooms.

When the building opened in February 1899, it was cutting edge, and the finest prep school building in the South. Additions over the following decades, as well as updates to the original space, made it the place where Woodberry boys lived, ate, and studied.

As the building nears its 120th birthday, Woodberry is completely updating and revitalizing the Walker Building, ensuring that it is once again a cutting edge space devoted to educating boys.
In 2017 the William H. White Library moved from Hanes Hall to the former Reynolds Family Dining Room. The main level of the library, now called the Reynolds Family Learning Commons, is devoted to collaborative spaces for teaching classes or holding group study sessions. The upper level of the library, in Dunnington Reading Room, is home to the Academic Development Center and is also a place of quiet study.

Over the next two years we will revitalize the rest of the building. A Dorm will become the new home of the Admission and College Counseling Offices. B Dorm and C Dorm are receiving their first complete overhaul in decades, with new rooms that are more evenly sized. The dormitories will also have air conditioning for the first time.

Community street is being reimagined as a space devoted entirely to students. A revamped student store has already opened. The Fir Tree will be enhanced and expanded. The Outdoors Program will have space for gear check-out, bike repairs, and meetings. Two large game areas will give the boys living on Walker and all other boys a place to congregate for pool, ping-pong, and more. A new kitchen will give students a place to prepare food with their friends or advisory group. 

Restoring a historic building and ensuring it is ready to serve the next generation of students is expensive work. We need the help of the Woodberry community to make it happen.

Follow the Walker Building on Social Media for the Latest Updates!

Frank Edwards '88 and Rick Hopkins '87 Talk About Their Walker Building Experience At Woodberry

Supporting the Revitalization

Interested in supporting the
Walker Building renovation? 


Jim Holladay ’72  

Facebook LIVE Tour of the Walker Building on April 26, 2019

Walker Building Video Fall 2018

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A Special Announcement about the Walker Building

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Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.