club strives to provide same functions for faculty
Ida Lee Wootten
the Colonnade Club,
U.Va.'s faculty club since 1907, this academic year brings a mixture
of good news and bad news.
good news is that Pavilion VII, the home of the Colonnade Club
for more than 90 years, is undergoing a meticulous, multi-million-dollar
renovation and restoration that will make the oldest pavilion
on the Lawn an elegant, richly appointed, inviting building. The
bad news for the club that relies on income from renting the pavilion's
guest bedrooms and public rooms for departmental and social events
is that the restoration process is taking much longer than originally
anticipated. The delay is costing the club both revenue and membership.
of the pavilion, which was closed for the work in September 1998,
was supposed to take two years. However, early this month Murray
Howard, curator and architect
for the Academical Village, and Robert Dillman, chief facilities
officer, told club officers that the pavilion will be closed until
mid-April. They had hoped to open a portion of the pavilion's
first floor this September, but it is now expected that the entire
building, including all nine newly restored bedrooms -- each with
private baths, for the first time -- will be available for rental
for the 2001 graduation period.
and Dillman attribute the delay to several factors including the
unexpected complexity of the project once engineers were able
to examine conditions underneath the building as well as inside
the walls, floors and ceilings conditions that led to several
periods of redesign during construction. It has also been difficult
to find suitable workers because of the robust economy and other
construction and maintenance projects at U.Va. Opening the building
in two stages would have added significantly in cost and would
have further delayed the project, Dillman said.
addition, because Pavilion VII is a historic building used extensively
by the public, the renovation project includes refitting it to
satisfy all applicable codes, which also requires more complex
work. As a consequence, opening a portion of the building while
the remainder was still under construction proved infeasible.
short, Pavilion VII has proven to be very different from the 'standard'
pavilion restoration," Howard said.
club's leaders are convinced that the delay now will help ensure
the organization's vitality in the future. "Being a Colonnade
Club member and enjoying the affiliation with Pavilion VII has
been a prized part of my life at U.Va.," said Charles Dunkl,
mathematics professor and club president. "One has to be
philosophical about a three-year project at a 175-year-old university.
Doing the job properly takes time."
1998 when the club vacated the pavilion, it has lost more than
$275,000 in income from overnight guests and departments renting
the facility. The loss continues at a rate of $12,000 for each
month the pavilion remains closed.
to members of the teaching, research and administrative faculty
at an annual cost of $117, the club has experienced dwindling
membership since the pavilion closed. Membership among resident
faculty and administrators has dropped from 348 in 1998 to 325
now. (Total membership, which includes non-resident members and
those holding honorary, emeritus and life status, numbers 776
In anticipation of a two-year absence from the pavilion, club
leadership undertook a fund-raising campaign that has helped cover
operating costs. Determined not to reduce the number of social
events the club offers, the organization's leaders have found
new venues and have added new activities, such as family cookouts
prior to U.Va. athletic competitions at Klöckner Stadium. Also,
two years ago the club began offering free one-year memberships
to new faculty to introduce them to the extended variety of events.
To compensate for the loss of guest bedrooms in the pavilion,
the club's management negotiated discounted rates for members
at local hotels, such as the Boar's Head Inn, English Inn and
Omni Hotel. Members can also enjoy reasonable rates at any of
the 100 faculty clubs nationwide and abroad.
numerous members enjoyed the club's complimentary morning coffee
and afternoon tea while perusing periodicals in the pavilion's
reading room, the club now provides a lounge in Hotel E for that
purpose. To communicate these changes, the club publishes frequent
newsletters for its members.