BOV plan seeks $1 billion in building over next six years
Photos by Dan Addison
|Jerry B. Matyiko (below), owner of Expert House Movers of Sharpton, Md., gently moves the levers controlling the dollies that support the top two floors of Varsity Hall and guides the building 185 feet down an eight-degree gravel slope to its new home on Hospital Drive. Workers from Expert House Movers and International Chimney of Buffalo, N.Y. (above), constantly adjusted the hydraulic dollies during the move, which took nearly nine hours. Heavy equipment (left) was connected to the support framework to serve as a back-up brake in case the dollies’ brakes failed.
By Dan Heuchert
More than $1 billion worth of capital projects are in the budget for the next six years, if all goes according to plan, under a program approved on April 2 by the Board of Visitors.
But it is virtually guaranteed that all will not go accordingly. To fund the $935.5 million being sought for the academic division alone, the state would be asked to provide $437.1 million, Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget, told the board. The University would have to raise $421.7 million in private funding, with the $76.7 million balance being raised by bond sales.
The amount of the University’s requests that the state has been able to fulfill has varied greatly in the past. In the 1994-1996 biennium, the state was able to fund only 9 percent of what the University sought. In 2002-2004, however, the state filled 74 percent, backed by a general obligation bond issue.
The state’s ability to pay “is driven by the financial status of the commonwealth” and its willingness to issue bonds, Sheehy said.
The long-range forecast for the 2006-2008 biennium is not promising, she said. “Unfortunately, guidance received from the state predicts that there will not be a lot of general fund money available in the next biennium,” she said.The six-year plan is updated every two years, with projects added, subtracted and carried over from previous plans, and does not include projects already funded.
New construction envisioned in the 2006-2008 biennium includes an information technology building in the Engineering School ($50 million) and a second Ivy Stacks library storage building ($13.7 million). Major renovations include an infrastructure upgrade at Ruffner Hall ($16.5 million) and an extensive climate control project in Jordan Hall ($19.6 million).
The plan calls for almost $400 million worth of work in 2008-2010. New construction would include a life sciences building ($79.4 million), a psychology building ($56 million), a cancer research building ($46.4 million), a fieldhouse/athletic office facility ($45 million), a music building ($31.8 million), phase II of the Alderman Road dorm replacements ($31 million), and a new upper-class residence hall ($27.5 million).
The pace is scheduled to slow a bit during 2010-2012. New construction would include a replacement for New Cabell Hall ($60 million), a bioengineering building ($56.3 million), phase III of the Alderman Road dorm replacements ($33 million), a drama building addition ($26.3 million) and an addition to the Health Sciences Library ($12.9 million). The plan also anticipates major renovations to Gilmer ($37 million) and Cobb ($34.4 million) halls.
Officials from the Medical Center — which funds its capital projects through its own revenues — foresee a $25.7 million renovation of the multistory building’s fifth floor to consolidate its psychiatric beds, which currently are split between the Medical Center and leased space at Martha Jefferson Hospital. They also plan to spend $20 million to acquire a medical office building.
In more concrete plans, the board approved design guidelines for a new, 80,000-square-foot building for the Curry School of Education. The building will be sited atop what is now a 56-space parking lot between the school’s current home, Ruffner Hall, and Emmet Street.
The guidelines call for a five-story building linked to Ruffner Hall by pedestrian bridges. The estimated $37.2 million cost will be funded
exclusively through gifts. The building will allow the Curry School to consolidate programs scattered at five or six locations around town, said David Neuman, the University architect.
Neuman also announced changes to the design of the McIntire School of Commerce’s planned new home adjoining a renovated Rouss Hall — its long-awaited “Back to the Lawn” project.
The most striking feature: replacement of the previously envisioned sloped roofs in favor of U.Va.’s first “green” roofs — flat roofs topped by trays of sedum, a low-growing succulent plant from the cactus family.
The plantings alleviate storm water runoff and are more attractive than conventional roofs, Neuman noted. Sedum’s coloring varies with the season, including flowering in the spring, and it can withstand extremes of heat and cold, he added.
The roofs will be accessible from inside the building, and will include seating areas, Neuman said.
“If it works, I think we’ll use it on other buildings on Grounds, including existing buildings,” he said.
In other actions from the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the board:
- Selected Bowie Gridley Architects of Washington to design the new Nursing School addition.
- Boosted the budgets of two renovation projects after bids came in over what was planned. The Cocke Hall renovation will require an
additional $2 million, to be covered through reallocation of existing funds, and will now cost $9 million. The Rouss Hall renovation will require $6 million more, for a total of $57 million, to be covered by gifts.
Enrollment to grow 1,500 over decade
The board approved revised enrollment projections that call for an increase of 779 students by the 2009-2010 academic year, including 425 new undergraduates, 250 graduate students and 104 on-Grounds Continuing and Professional Studies students.
The changes to the formal enrollment projections put the University in line with its informal target of boosting enrollment by 1,500 during the next decade — a goal that the state has not objected to, Sandridge said. Most of the enrollment gains are expected to come in the sciences and performing arts, two areas the University has tagged for growth, he said.
The infrastructure for such a change is included in the six-year capital plan, he said. The University plans to maintain the same proportion of in-state students, about two-thirds.
In other matters, the Finance Committee:
- Approved changes to the spending plan for the U.Va.’s endowment funds that make future payouts more predictable for budget writers.
- Approved an increase in faculty and staff housing rates averaging 6.4 percent for 2005-2006.
- Approved a 4 percent average increase in contract dining rates for 2005-2006.
Ramping up for reaccreditation
In June, U.Va. will begin the process of renewing its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — an exhaustive
review of operations and curriculum that occurs every 10 years, said E. Clorissa Phillips, associate provost for institutional advancement.
Atlanta-based SACS, established in 1895, is responsible for accrediting higher education institutions in 11 Southern states. University President John T. Casteen III has chaired its Commission on Colleges and remains a leader in the organization, Phillips said.
The University hopes to receive formal approval in late 2007, she said.
Between now and then, the University must produce two major reports: a certification demonstrating compliance with 80 principles, and a forward-looking “quality enhancement plan” focused on improving student learning.
Phillips expects the University to pass. Ten years ago, U.Va. received full accreditation with no conditions attached and only a few minor suggestions, she said.
The Educational Policy Committee also:
- Heard a report on the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration’s planned executive MBA program, which it hopes to roll out in 2006. The 21-month program will cater to executives who will remain in their jobs, and expects to enroll 45 students in its first annual cohort.
- Heard a presentation from Dr. Leigh Grossman, vice provost for international affairs, on the University’s international education
efforts. She challenged the board to increase funding for international programs, particularly in financial aid, and to seek ways to make such programs a “fundamental part of a University of Virginia education.”
- Learned of a departmental name change in the School of Medicine. The former Department of Heath Evaluation Sciences now will beknown as the Department of Public Health Sciences.
Board welcomes new members
The meeting was the first for three new BOV members: A. Macdonald “Mac” Caputo, a lawyer and investment banker from Greenwich, Conn; Newport News lawyer Alan A. Diamonstein, a former longtime member of the state House of Delegates; and Norfolk lawyer Vincent J. Mastracco.
“On behalf of the University, I would like to say how grateful we are to the governor for sending us such wonderful members,” said Rector Gordon F. Rainey Jr.
A new nonvoting representative, third-year student Catherine S. Neale of Richmond, officially took office at the close of the meeting.
In preliminary remarks to the board, Casteen hailed what he called a “banner year” for student award-winners. Two students received Rhodes Scholarships, and one apiece won Marshall, Mitchell, Luce and Truman scholarships.
Casteen also reported that fund-raising is running about 15 percent ahead of last year’s pace. Overall, the current capital campaign — still officially in its “silent” phase — has taken in $604.6 million, or 20.1 percent of its $3 billion goal, with 14.5 percent of its duration elapsed.