to hammer out building costs, board suggests study
costs and ensuring that Jeffersonian design continues to be part
of the new buildings being planned on Grounds generated most of
the discussion at a Board
of Visitors' Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting Jan.
members repeatedly questioned why the projects reviewed at the
meeting seemed to have such high price tags compared to private
Management Chief Robert Dillman said the University's construction
costs are comparable to other institutions' building projects,
and attributed the higher costs to several factors. The University
builds its buildings to last for a longer time than most commercial
buildings. Also, private outfits aren't hampered with myriad state
regulations (instituted, ironically, to hold down costs and assure
quality). "We're required by the state to have projects of
$5 million and up be value-engineered," he said, which takes
time and adds to the overall cost of the project. He also noted
that labs are the most expensive spaces to construct. There's
been an abundance of work for builders in the area, too, which
in turn has driven bid estimates higher, he said.
board suggested conducting a study to assure that the University
is paying fair construction prices. Colette Sheehy, vice president
for management and budget, noted that a similar review of U.Va.'s
construction process was done five or six years ago. The board
also approved seven capital budget amendments for the General
Assembly to consider, chief among them were supplements for the
Clark Hall renovation and addition, and the new studio art building.
Clark Hall supplement ($5 million in general funds and $2.7 million
in nongeneral funds) is needed to offset high bids and for rock
excavation. It also incorporates a formerly separate chiller plant
project into this project, Sheehy said.
$3.5 million nongeneral fund supplement for the studio art building
will be used for site development, digital arts labs and features
that will support the future development of the Arts Precinct.
The original $9 million building project is being funded by the
state, although the Governor shifted it from a general fund project
to a bond proposal in the budget he presented to the General Assembly.
minimize the budget [increase], we have reduced the building size
[to 24,000 square feet] and modified its design to make it more
efficient," said U.Va. Architect
Samuel A. "Pete" Anderson III.
as close to a Jeffersonian design as possible with this building,"
said board member William H. Goodwin Jr.
expressing concerns about costs, the board also approved schematic
designs for the Medical Research 6 building and an addition to
the Aquatic & Fitness Center.
MR6 building, to be funded with half general, half nongeneral
monies, totaling $50 million, will be a state-of-the-art, 183,000-square-foot
wet lab facility for the School of Medicine.
Aquatic & Fitness Center addition -- a gymnasium that will include
intramural basketball courts and an indoor running track and cost
$8 million to build ‹ was part of the center's initial building
plan, Anderson said. It will be paid for through bonds ($5.5 million),
gifts ($2 million) and the remainder in auxiliary funds.