committee endorses nearly $1 billion building plan
Cabell Hall, seen here from a side entrance facing Bryan Hall,
and Cocke Hall in the background, are two of the Arts &
Sciences buildings slated for renovation in the 2002-08 six-year
concerns about the unpredictability of state funding, the Board
Buildings and Grounds Committee on March 22 endorsed a $965.2
million, six-year capital spending plan. The full board will vote
on the plan at its April 5 through 7 meeting, then forward it
to the governor for consideration in the 2002-04 budget process.
plan easily the most ambitious in University history
includes renovation, new construction, infrastructure, planning
and major maintenance projects for the academic division, the
Medical Center, and for U.Va.'s College at Wise. Among the biggest-ticket
items: a $111 million replacement for University Hall and an associated
parking structure; $54 million to expand the University Hospital;
$46 million to build a new medical research building, dubbed "MR-6";
$45 million for the Digital Academical Village project, and another
$45 million for its associated residential college; $30 million
to replace the Bayly Art Museum; and $50 million for a new science
capital plan also includes nearly $40 million in funding for much-needed
renovations to the main Arts & Sciences buildings Cocke,
Rouss and new Cabell halls. The entire $26 million for the new
Cabell Hall renovation was moved into the 2002-08 plan; original
plans called for completing half of the project after 2008.
"Our buildings are the oldest on Grounds, and generally in
the worst shape," said Arts & Sciences dean Melvyn P.
Leffler. "There is less room per student than anywhere else.
It's appropriate to address these priorities."
& Sciences recently initiated its own foundation and Leffler
said alumni response to fund-raising appeals has been promising.
"Our foundation has really focused attention on this, and
they show enormous enthusiasm for addressing the infrastructure,"
replacement arena will likely hsave multiple uses and the parking
garage would be shared with the new arts precinct. The plan calls
for construction to be financed through University-issued bonds,
to be repaid mostly through gifts, student and parking fees and
capital plan seeks $354.9 million in state funds over the next
six years, with the balance to be raised from other sources. However,
the prospects for receiving all of the state money requested are
very dim, University officials said, particularly in light of
what may be a souring economy and a statewide accumulation of
this something that we ought to try to solve ourselves, instead
of waiting for the state to solve it?," asked board member
William H. Goodwin Jr. The capital projects list "looks like
it is important to the University. It's not just paper
it has some substance to it."
President John. T. Casteen III said that the state has funded
just 15 percent of construction projects at the University over
the past decade.
"The question may be how to do better what we already know
how to do," he said. "We've done more building in the
past decade than at any other time in history and financed most
of it locally."
noted that the governor's proposed budget which
has not yet made it out of the deadlocked General Assembly
included a capital bond issue. He predicted that the idea might
surface again when the legislature convenes in 2002, although
the total bond amount may fall well short of the needs statewide,
which he estimated at $2.5 billion. "The largest amount I've
heard of is $700 million," he said.
contrast, North Carolina voters recently overwhelmingly approved
a $3 billion bond issue to serve higher education.
members also floated alternate funding options, including seeking
authority from the state to levy additional student fees or dipping
into the endowment, although the latter option received little
support. Board members and University officials agreed to study
the issue further.
list of the projects included in the six-year capital plan is
available for viewing online with Adobe Acrobat Reader at http://www.virginia.edu/bov/meetingBuildings
Grounds.html; click on "Materials." You must have
Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the information. Completing the
New Cabell Hall renovation by 2008 was the only change from this