panel approves footbridge plan
angle of a proposed pedestrian bridge over Emmet Street brought
short-lived protests Oct. 10 from some members of the Board
of Visitors Buildings and Grounds Committee. But after
a closed-door session, they conditionally approved the bridge
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 Andersons 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.
is the most visible approach to the University, Ross said.
Will a future board ask, What were they thinking?
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.
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 bridges
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 projects
price tag had been held to $3.2 million, at the boards direction.
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.
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.
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
committee OKd 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.
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.