The former site of historic Simms Hall that was damaged by fire in 2016 is now the home of the brand-new Appomattox River Outlook and plaza. The fire left the historic mechanic arts building not safe for occupancy. The University began demolition of the building in 2018 and converted the pad into the Appomattox overlook. Timmons Group was the civil engineer and landscape architect for the project.
The overlook, which provides a spectacular view of the Appomattox River, is now an open hardscape and grassy overlook that is used as a gathering space for students and staff. The site includes historic signage that celebrates the history of the site as a former trades building used for mechanical arts and agriculture.