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Doing the shuffle: Departments move to accommodate construction


Doing the shuffle: Departments move to accommodate construction
department shuffle
Photo by Lincoln Ross Barbour

By Jane Ford and Matt Kelly

When school started last Wednesday, several departments were not where students had left them last spring. Over the summer, renovation and construction projects prompted a complex departmental shuffle, leaving many people wondering, “Where did they go?” While complicated in the retelling, the following should help readers navigate who’s where.

Religious studies

The Department of Religious Studies has vacated Cocke Hall, now under renovation. Some of its offices moved to Halsey Hall — occupying space loaned from the Department of Environmental Sciences and vacated by the Department of Statistics, which joins the math department in Kerchoff Hall. The remainder of religious studies is now housed in a temporary building between Halsey and Maury halls.
“ Nightmarish,” is how chairman Harry Y. Gamble described the religious studies department’s move. “This was an enormous undertaking,” he said. A lot accumulates in 35 years.

The bulk of the department’s assets — its books — posed an unexpected problem due to their cumulative weight. “One engineer told us not to put too many books in the [temporary office] trailer, because it is not rated for books,” said Eugene F. Rogers, assistant professor of modern Christian thought, who estimated he had 20 to 30 boxes of books.

Religious studies will remain at Halsey and in the temporary building until summer 2008, when it expects to move into the new building planned as part of the South Lawn Project.

Germanic languages

The Department of Germanic Languages & Literature also left Cocke Hall for two temporary buildings south of Halsey Hall. According to Brenda J. Ayres, secretary to chairwoman Lorna Martens, only about half of the German department was in town for the move, and some of them were telephoning in instructions. Consequently, the move was “really hectic,” she said.

Ayres didn’t mind moving, though. “The building was in very bad condition,” she said. Her only disappointment was knowing that the department would not move back into Cocke Hall after its renovations are complete in fall 2005. (The departments of philosophy and classics are currently slated as Cocke Hall’s next tenants.) Instead, the German department will make two more moves: first to New Cabell Hall to the space that will be vacated by philosophy, and finally to the new South Lawn building when it is built.

Fine arts

The McIntire Department of Art moved out of Fayerweather Hall, which is under renovation through late 2005, and into three separate buildings. Administrative offices, art history and visiting studio artists are now headquartered in the Rugby Faculty Apartments building, just north of Beta Bridge at 203 Rugby Road. Other studio art faculty, formerly housed at Fayerweather, are now in one of two temporary buildings behind Ruffner Hall near the newly renovated Dell.

The temporary buildings — formally “Dell 1” and “Dell 2,” but nicknamed “Bob” and “Ted” in honor of former studio art faculty members Robert T. Barbee and Theodore R. Turner — are air-conditioned (a first for studio space at U.Va.) and have soaring open space, said art department chairman Lawrence O. Goedde.

Dell 1 houses the department’s painting, photography and exhibition space, while Dell 2 houses printmaking, papermaking and sculpture. The outdoor space between the buildings will be used for large projects and as a place to use spray fixatives and other noxious substances.
Associate professor Megan B. Marlatt, who became head of the studio art program over the summer, said students might have a little trouble finding the buildings at first, but she is confident the open, flexible space will work well. “It’s more conducive to making art” than the currently “chopped up” Fayerweather Hall, she said.

The art department retains its space in Brooks Hall, Peyton Trailer, and the Bayly Building.

Art history faculty are scheduled to return to Fayerweather in spring 2006. Studio art will occupy Dells 1 and 2 until a long-awaited new studio art building, to be named Ruffin Hall, is completed in the Carr’s Hill Arts Precinct. Groundbreaking on Ruffin is expected to begin next fall.


The Department of Economics, formerly at Rouss Hall — another building under renovation — now occupies two floors in the Dynamics Building at 2015 Ivy Road.

“We are the first academic department to move off Grounds,” department chairman David E. Mills said. The location concerns him somewhat because he fears that students may not stop by as frequently as they did before.

To retain a presence on Grounds, the department moved its office for graduate students in economics to Wilson Hall. It will continue to hold classes in Rouss through the spring term, and it has also retained some office space there for faculty to meet with students.

Economics will be in the Dynamics Building until it can move into Monroe Hall. But first, the McIntire School of Commerce must vacate Monroe Hall, which will happen once its new building is completed at the far southeast end of the Lawn behind (and connecting to) Rouss.

Air Force ROTC

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps has left Varsity Hall, which is currently scheduled to be relocated to a new on-Grounds site later this year to make room for the new Commerce School building. Offices for the Air Force ROTC can now be found in the Astronomy Building on McCormick Road, in space vacated by ITC.


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