House bill supports South Lawn
The University of Virginia’s South Lawn Project received a major boost when the U.S. House Appropriation Committee allocated $2 million for a pedestrian crossing over Jefferson Park Avenue.
In announcing the allocation, U.Va. President John T. Casteen III praised the work of U.S. Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. (R-Rocky Mount), a member of the House Appropriations Committee who was instrumental in securing the funding.
“Representative Goode has consistently supported the University for a number of years,” said Casteen. “This project is another example of the significant impact of his work. Projects of this nature require effective collaboration among members of the local delegation. The support of our senators is essential to meeting the goals of the project.”
In April, the U.Va. Board of Visitors approved the architectural plans for the South Lawn Project’s first phase, which will feature a broad pedestrian crossing that will span JPA. Seen as an extension of the Lawn, it will link Jefferson’s historical “academical village” on the north side of this busy road with new classrooms and offices to the south.
The $2 million allocation is part of the 2007 Transportation, Treasury and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill, which provides $67.8 billion in funding for several governmental departments, including the U.S. Department of Transportation. The bill next moves for approval to the U.S. House of Representatives and then to the U.S. Senate.
The allocation is seen as especially significant given the tight budget year. The JPA crossing was one of only seven projects in the commonwealth to receive funding in the Transportation Appropriations bill.
The landmark $105 million South Lawn Project will feature a complex of buildings and gardens designed to enhance the school’s academic programs. The plan includes classrooms with state-of-the-art technology, gathering areas, flexible workspaces and faculty offices organized to foster collaboration.
The project’s price tag includes construction, landscaping, parking, digital information systems, furnishings and equipment. Funding is divided between $43.8 million from University sources and $61.2 from private philanthropy.