May 24-June 6, 2002
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Plans for arena pass ‘major milestone’
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Slight change in press’ name confirms University’s support
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Plans for arena pass ‘major milestone’
basketball arena
VMDO Architects of Charlottesville
Just right of center court — architect’s rendering of U.Va.’s new basketball arena, scheduled for completion in May 2006.

By Lee Graves

U.Va.’s basketball program took a giant leap forward this month with a relatively small step taken by University officials.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee of the University’s Board of Visitors approved schematic plans for the new $128 million arena, which will seat 15,076 fans and include space for basketball practice courts, basketball coaches’ offices, a weight training room, a club lounge and 20 luxury suites.

The multipurpose arena and adjacent parking, including a new garage, will be built across Massie Road from University Hall on what is now a parking lot.

The Board of Visitors will have one more chance to review the plans before work begins late this winter. Completion is scheduled for May 2006.

“With the Buildings and Grounds Committee’s approval of the schematic design, we have passed a major milestone,” said University Architect Samuel “Pete” Anderson. “From here on out, we do not expect the plans to change from what was presented.”

At the committee’s meeting May 9 in Richmond, the schematic plans drew general praise for VMDO Architects of Charlottesville. But board member William H. Goodwin Jr. questioned why the suites lacked bathrooms.

“That is a mistake, from a fund-raising point,” Goodwin said.

VMDO principal Robert W. Moje said suites with bathrooms require handicap access. The suites would have to be larger than designed, adding $3 million to the building’s cost or reducing the number of suites. Board members asked VMDO to look at alternatives that would accommodate bathrooms.

Plans for the project also include more parking and a connector road to the U.S. 29/250 bypass. The design envisions parking for 1,500 vehicles on the west side of the site, including 600 surface spaces and a 900-space, multi-level facility.

The connector road, also scheduled for completion in May 2006, is incorporated in the project’s total cost.

U.Va. has received two $20 million gifts in support of the project, one from an anonymous donor, and another from alumnus Paul Tudor Jones II, chair of the Greenwich, Conn.-based Tudor Group, a financial management firm.

The management firm of Barton Malow Inc., headquartered in Southfield, Mich., with a regional office in Charlottesville, will oversee construction. Project director Dick Laurance of U.Va. Facilities Management and a steering committee are overseeing the project from the University’s end.

Another project that got a thorough airing in Richmond was the proposed $125 million South Lawn Project for the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

James S. Polshek of Polshek Partnership Architects of New York explained that the design’s intent is to blend in with Jefferson’s vision of the Academical Village.

“It has to belong, visibly and irrefutably, to the University of Virginia in every way,” he said.

The project would extend south from Old Cabell Hall with a plaza and cross Jefferson Park Avenue at two points, one with a walkway on grade with the pavement and another with a raised walkway bridging the road. A 6-foot retaining wall on the uphill side of the road would reduce noise and pollution.

Below the road, land would be terraced, with new buildings forming a line on the eastern edge. The structures would face a wooded hill to the west, where landscaping and structures – gardens and gazebos, perhaps — would emphasize the natural setting and view.

“It does give something back to the neighborhood and the city of Charlottesville,” Polshek said. The design includes parking for 150 cars under the buildings.

Committee members discussed various elements of the plan, such as whether there is too much building mass for the space, and asked the architects to look into the feasibility of lowering the path of Jefferson Park Avenue as they proceed with the design.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee gave the go-ahead to phases of several other projects, including:

• Architectural design guidelines for $5 million additions to Campbell Hall over two phases. The first phase, or south addition, would provide 8,400 square feet for faculty and staff office spaces. The second phase, or east addition, would provide a new major public entrance for the School of Architecture and an entrance to the developing arts precinct.

• Demolishing four metal buildings at the Davis Farm in Albemarle County to make way for a 13,000-square-foot vivarium facility.

• Preliminary design for the Materials Science Engineering and Nanotechnology Building. This 96,000-square-foot research lab would be built at a cost of $32 million on Chemistry Way between McCormick and Whitehead roads.

• Schematic design for a $58 million hospital expansion project including 100,000 square feet of new space and about 160,000 square feet of renovations. It would provide clinical and support space in four areas, the Heart Center, Perioperative Services, the Department of Radiology and the Department of Pathology’s clinical laboratories. The project would increase the number of operating rooms from 19 to 24 and upgrade technology in all 24.


© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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