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Alderman Road Replacement Project: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions. If you find that your question has not been answered, please Contact Us.



1. Why is the University replacing the 1960s era residence halls?

Housing & Residence Life, in collaboration with other University departments, reviewed the possibility of renovating the 1960s era facilities and determined that in most cases the renovation would cost as much or more than constructing new facilities. New construction allows us to provide the type of amenities residents desire in building construction and to utilize modern technologies. New construction also allows us to increase the number of beds in the Alderman Road Area, providing capacity to meet projected enrollment growth. If the facilities were renovated, the number of beds would not increase, the amenities provided would remain at the same level and the ability to modernize the facilities would be restricted by the 40-plus-year age of the original construction.

2. Where can I find information on the replacement project and its current status?

Information about the project can be found on the Housing & Residence Life web site's Alderman Road Replacement Project page.

3. Which residence halls have been demolished to provide building sites?

Balz, Dobie and Watson Houses were demolished at the beginning of Phase 2. Lile, Maupin, Tuttle and Webb Houses were demolished for Phase 3/4a. Dunnington House was demolished for Phase 4b.

4. What will happen to the names of the buildings that were demolished?

Decisions about building names are the purview of the President's Committee on Names. In this case the names of demolished buildings are being reused, in hyphenated form, as new buildings are constructed. Buildings 1 through 4 have been named Balz-Dobie, Watson-Webb, Lile-Maupin and Tuttle-Dunnington. Building 5 has been named Shannon House.

5. During demolition, how were hazardous materials such as asbestos handled?

The only hazardous material found in the 1960's era facilities was asbestos. All asbestos-containing materials were removed from the buildings prior to demolition by a licensed abatement contractor. During abatement, University Environmental Health and Safety monitored air quality and the work processes utilized. Prior to demolition work, core samples were taken from various locations within the ground area to be disturbed by construction activity. The samples were free of hazardous materials. A similar process has been followed during subsequent demolitions.

6. During demolition and debris removal, how much of the debris was recycled?

The demolition contractor anticipates that 95% of the debris by weight will be recycled. Final numbers are not yet available. Materials recycled include: structural steel; concrete; bricks; aluminum window frames; copper, steel and cast iron piping and conduit; and copper wire and flashing.

7. Can you provide an overview of phases completed to date?

The second phase consisted of the construction of two residence halls and a commons building. Schematic design and bridging documents for all three buildings were prepared by Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects + Planners.

The third phase was combined with the first half of the fourth phase, for a total of three residence halls constructed simultaneously. Schematic design and bridging documents for all three buildings were prepared by Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects + Planners, and W.M. Jordan Company and Clark Nexsen Architecture & Engineering were the design-build team.

The residence halls are five or six stories each. The first floor of each building contains common space, study lounges, multipurpose rooms and laundry facilities to be used by all residents. The remaining five stories house residents and have a study and lounge on each floor. The commons building consists of a large gathering space that can be utilized for up to 250-700 guests, depending on seating configuration. The commons also contains audio and visual equipment and facilities to accommodate catering activities. The residence halls are constructed of poured concrete footings and foundation walls. The superstructure consists of concrete masonry unit (CMU) load-bearing walls and hollow-core concrete planks with a brick veneer.

The University procured the services of a design-build team using bridging documents (construction documents that are 30 to 35% complete). The selected design-build team then completes the construction documents to 100% as construction proceeds. This method is used to decrease the amount of time it takes to design and then build a building. The savings occurs because the design is being finished as site and foundation work is under way, compressing the schedule.

Phase 2 residence halls were completed for occupancy in August, 2011. The commons building was completed in October, 2011. Phase 3 and 4a residence halls were completed for occupancy in August, 2013.

8. What method is being used to construct Building 6?

The final phase, 4b, is comprised of one five-story residence hall (Building 6), to be completed in time for occupancy in August, 2015. The University procured the services of a construction management firm, Donley's, Inc., to build Building 6 as the "CM at risk". EYP Architecture & Planning provided full design documents (100% complete). Donley's was hired early to assist with design and document completion. This method is used to deliver a building within a guaranteed maximum price.

9. What are the work hours on site?

Loud and disruptive work is to occur only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The contractor may assemble and be on site prior to and after the hours mentioned as long as activities are not loud or disruptive. Examples of loud and disruptive work include the operation of heavy machinery, generators and cranes.

10. Will there be weekend work?

Weekend work is possible and should be anticipated. Work hours on Saturday and Sunday are the same as those during the week.

11. Will work occur during exam periods?

Yes, work will occur during the fall and spring exam periods with the exception of three days of quiet. The three days will be consecutive and selected by the residents adjacent to the construction site. The selection of the days will be coordinated through Resident Staff and will represent the most requested days. Even though there will be three days of quiet, this does not mean that activity on the site will cease on those days. Work may still occur as long as it is not loud or disruptive.

12. What type of work will be performed during the academic year?

During the year, the construction contractor will be preparing the site, installing outside utility services, laying building foundations, raising the structures of the buildings and installing interior mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment. This work requires the use of heavy equipment and machinery as well as multiple tradesmen. There will be increased truck traffic on both McCormick Road and Alderman Road.

13. What are perceived to be the biggest impacts to residents living in houses adjacent to the construction site?

It is perceived that noise and dust will be biggest impacts to livability in adjacent residence halls. The construction activity will generate noise during work hours and possibly an increase in dust. We have worked with the construction contractor to minimize these issues while still allowing the new buildings to be constructed in a cost-effective and timely manner. The contractor will minimize dust as much as possible.

14. Were residents living in adjacent houses notified of the construction prior to move-in?

Every First Year resident assigned to Cauthen, Woody, Fitzhugh and Shannon Houses was notified along with their housing assignment in July 2013.

15. How will new information about the project be communicated to residents?

Information regarding the project will be communicated to residents via email. Email notifications will be sent to each resident's U.Va. registered email address.

16. If a resident has a question or concern regarding the project and or construction, whom should they contact?

Residents should first bring questions and/or concerns to their Resident Staff member. If the Resident Staff member cannot answer the questions or address the concerns, residents should contact Housing & Residence Life offices. Correspondence should be sent to housingprojects@virginia.edu. If there are concerns that need to be addressed immediately, please call 434-924-3736.