park planned for Blue Ridge Hospital site
University plans to develop a research park on its Blue Ridge
Hospital property, at the foot of Monticello Mountain. Legislation
introduced at the General Assembly last month would lay the groundwork.
will transfer the property, just south of Interstate 64 and east
of Route 20, to its real estate foundation. The foundation also
plans to lease 32 acres of the 159-acre parcel to the Thomas Jefferson
Memorial Foundation for a new Monticello tourism and visitors
center, according to the bill, introduced by Del. John H. Rust
(R-Fairfax) at the request of Gov. James S. Gilmore III. Del.
Mitch Van Yahres (D-Charlottesville) and Del. Paul Harris (R-Albemarle)
are co-sponsoring the legislation.
Plans for the new research park, a "high priority" of
the University's, are preliminary, said Tim Rose, chief executive
officer of the U.Va. Foundation. The existing buildings at Blue
Ridge would be demolished, except for three that have historic
significance, Rose said. However, there is no cost estimate, timetable
or name for the project as yet.
foundation hopes to attract biotechnology, engineering and information
technology businesses to the site, similar to those already in
place at the Fontaine and North Fork research parks, Rose said.
The new park will provide about 500,000 square feet of building
space, which is slightly larger than Fontaine and about six times
smaller than North Fork.
to a summary of the bill, it would "authorize the Governor
to convey Blue Ridge Hospital Š on such terms and conditions in
a manner that respects the historical and environmental significance
of Monticello Mountain."
U.Va. decided to close Blue Ridge Hospital as a cost-saving measure
in 1994 and began relocating inpatient medical units that year.
Several facilities that remain will be moving soon. The U.Va.
Health System's day-care center will move into a new facility
on Estes Street off of 9th Street in the spring. Two interdisciplinary
centers also will relocate in March: the Center for the Study
of Mind and Human Interaction will move to a leased house on 15th
Street Southwest across the street from McLeod Hall, and the Institute
of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy will move into the building
next to Stacey Hall on West Main Street.
To track the progress of this and other bills, visit U.Va.'s Governmental
Relations web page at: http://www.virginia.edu/~govrel/home.htm