Board approves preliminary
plans for arena
of the new basketball arena is set to begin in December and
be completed in 2006.
By Matt Kelly
U.Va. Board of Visitors
Buildings and Grounds Committee gave tentative approval to plans
for the new basketball arena at its Sept. 17 meeting.
for the $128 million, 15,000-seat arena on a site across Massie
Road from University Hall is set for December, with construction
to be complete in fall 2006. The arena will have seating in three
levels, with the center level featuring 20 premium suites.
of the boards discussion focused on the cost of installing
rest rooms in suites. The committee examined three options: no
toilets in any suites, toilets in all suites, or toilets in six
toilets in all the units would widen the span of the building
and add $3.2 million to the total construction bill, said architect
Robert W. Moje of VMDO Architects.
the end, the board members tentatively chose none of the options,
instead choosing to include toilets in the four corner suites,
which would not expand the arenas width. But the committee
will seek input from the arena advisory committee before presenting
the plans to the full board for final approval in October.
arena committee will also review plans for reducing the visibility
of empty seats in the arenas upper reaches during events.
Board members considered three options, which included having
the upper concourse lights on a separate circuit, so that section
can be darkened. A second plan calls for a flexible fiberglass
curtain to screen out the vacant seats for $500,000. And a third
plan would feature seat sections that could be retracted to the
wall, leaving an open concourse on the upper level for $750,000.
other business, Vice
President for Finance Yoke San Reynolds told the committee
of problems with the Alderman Road first-year dormitories, including
aging infrastructure and utilities, concrete deterioration and
a need for differently configured spaces. The Universitys
options include renovation, extensive renovation with more program
space, demolition and replacement with more modern structures,
and a combination of options. The work will likely be financed
with an increase in housing rates, Reynolds said.