Oct. 19-25, 2001
Back Issues
Health premiums to go up $1 to $9
BOV panel approves footbridge plan
Marathon team to run for Children's Heart Center
Study of captives in early Hispanic America shows varied treatment

Institute seeks to foster religious exchange and understanding

Poet-editors coming to Grounds Oct. 25
Rehnquist to give keynote address at law conference
Students help build public policy
Library exhibit explores music in American life
In Memoriam
Hot Links -- Safety and Security
Ghanaian drummer brings his beat to U.Va.
After Hours -- Cook blends artistic roots with scholarly pursuits

BOV panel approves footbridge plan

By Matt Kelly

The angle of a proposed pedestrian bridge over Emmet Street brought short-lived protests Oct. 10 from some members of the Board of Visitor’s Buildings and Grounds Committee. But after a closed-door session, they conditionally approved the bridge plan.

Members of the committee, which met to review schematic and preliminary designs of several planned construction projects, balked at one element of University Architect Samuel A. “Pete” Anderson’s plan for a 460-foot bridge spanning four lanes of traffic over Emmet Street. The 18-foot wide bridge for pedestrian and bicycle traffic would run from the woods behind Lambeth Commons and cross Emmet near the athletic complex on Massie Road. The plan Anderson presented calls for the bridge to cross the street diagonally, which drew concern from committee member Terence P. Ross, who thought the bridge should be perpendicular to the street.

“This is the most visible approach to the University,” Ross said. “Will a future board ask, ‘What were they thinking?’”

Anderson explained that the diagonal was the most economic design and noted that it preserved athletic fields around University Hall. To save the fields while running the bridge straight across Emmet Street would require the University to purchase a building that currently houses a Chinese restaurant, which Anderson said would add substantial cost to the project.

The board retired into executive session to discuss the bridge and possible purchase of the restaurant. When the doors reopened, members voted to accept the bridge plan, but authorized committee chair Thomas F. Farrell II to bring the design back if he felt it was warranted. Angle aside, board members approved the bridge’s overall aesthetics.

The bridge is part of the proposed “Groundswalk,” a pedestrian pathway that would connect North Grounds with the central part of the University without stairs or crossing traffic. Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, said the bridge project’s price tag had been held to $3.2 million, at the board’s direction.

The committee also approved schematic designs for a new Observatory Hill dining facility. Sheehy said original plans had called for the existing building to be renovated, but a thorough cost analysis indicated that renovation that would cost as much as tearing down the old building and constructing anew.

The plans call for a 58,700-square-foot, $22 million building to replace both the existing dining hall and the Tree House snack bar adjacent to Tuttle House dormitory. Both dining facilities would be demolished once the new building was operational.

Anderson said he was pleased with the Jeffersonian design and how well the planned structure fits with existing buildings and incorporates details from the 1920s and 1930s. The main dining area can accommodate from 600 to 1,000 diners, with another 100 seats in the casual dining area.

The committee OK’d the preliminary design of a 44,000-square-foot, $8 million addition to the Aquatics and Fitness Center, to house basketball courts, an indoor running track and an expanded fitness area. The expansion would extend out into an area that is currently a parking lot.

Afterwards, a special committee reviewed several projects, including construction of a new building for Arts & Sciences in the B-1 parking lot on Jefferson Park Avenue, renovation of Cocke and Rouss halls, replacement or renovation of new Cabell Hall and construction of a 400- to 500-vehicle parking garage. These projects were to be discussed at the full Board of Visitors meeting Oct. 18 and 19.


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