11, 2002 --
is the fourth in a series.
drawing shows how Meadow Creek may look in Nameless Field, adjacent
to the U.Va. Bookstore
and parking garage (background). Returning the creek to ground
level is part of the storm-water management plan.
U.Va. infrastructure projects included in Novembers statewide
higher education bond referendum arent sexy: chiller plants,
electrical substations, storm-water management.
ask Cheryl Gomez, director of utilities at Facilities
Management, what happens if the referendum fails, and her reply
gets your attention pretty quickly.
the near term, power outages and air-conditioning failures could
become more common. In the long term, schools could see surcharges
on new construction to support infrastructure capacity, which could
affect the size, timing and eventual use of new buildings.
understand the importance of the infrastructure items on the ballots,
it helps to understand U.Va.s utility systems.
units cool most of the University. The cold water they produce
circulates through nearby buildings via one of seven regional loops,
a system that Vice President of Management and Budget Colette Sheehy
touts as being more efficient than maintaining separate chillers
for each building. Having multiple chillers on each loop provides
backup should one chiller plant fail, she said.
a clever system, but one that is being strained by the Universitys
instance, the bond package includes $1.6 million to replace the
chiller at Campbell Hall, currently the only one serving the Carrs
Hill loop. That unit has actually been out of service for much of
the summer, Gomez said, despite some $50,000 spent to repair multiple
problems. A portable unit is working in its place, but its noise
has caused neighbors to complain.
will vote on whether to provide $846 million in bonds for
educational facilities. That total includes $68.3 million
toward the following facilities and improvements at U.Va.
(the balance will be funded by private gifts or through other
(Medical Research Building), a new structure for advances
in immunology, infectious diseases and cancer research: $24.2
million (total cost: $50 million)
million for a new Arts & Sciences building. Part of the
$125 million South Lawn Project, the building will house 13
of the Colleges 26 departments and will contain digitally
equipped classrooms serving the entire University.
new nanotechnology and materials science and engineering building
to foster technological innovations: $7 million (total cost:
of teaching laboratories in Gilmer Hall to support instruction
in biology and psychology: $5.7 million
of Fayerweather Hall, a 19th-century gymnasium now housing
the McIntire Department of Art: $4.6 million
new engineering/science chiller plant to provide cooling for
new construction and replace outdated CFC-based technology:
the Campbell Hall chiller to increase capacity for new construction
and replace chronically malfunctioning equipment: $1.6 million
the Cavalier substation to increase the Universitys
electrical capacity: $4.7 million
a regional storm-water management system for McCormick and
North Grounds, including restoring Meadow Creek and constructing
a pond: $1.4 million.
replacement would have 50 percent greater capacity, in order to
serve the planned studio arts building. Additional chillers will
eventually be needed to cool the expanding Arts Precinct, Gomez
bond package also includes a new $4.8 million chiller plant under
the forthcoming Aquatics and Fitness Center addition, to help accommodate
anticipated new loads in that area, including the Materials Science
Engineering and Nanotechnology Building and a dining hall.
is a real critical loop, because it is where all the science research
occurs, Gomez said.
She hopes the new plant the third on the McCormick chiller
loop will allow the University to phase out an aging chiller
in Olsson Hall. The Campbell Hall unit and the Olsson chiller use
chlorofluorocarbon-based refrigerants, or CFCs, implicated in ozone
depletion and global warming.
the chiller loop system, the Universitys electricity is funneled
through five regional substations, each of which powers several
bond package includes $4.7 million to double the capacity of the
heavily burdened Cavalier substation, located near the Medical Center,
in order to serve new buildings and allow the eventual phaseout
of the current East End substation, Gomez said.
East End station, serving the Health
System and portions of Central Grounds, provides lower voltage
than modern facilities. New parts are no longer being manufactured
for it, so replacements must usually be purchased secondhand, Gomez
final infrastructure element in the bond package is the Universitys
first-ever regional storm-water management plan.
such plans have been done piecemeal as new buildings are constructed,
Gomez said. By law, measures must be taken to mitigate the effects
of water running off of impermeable surfaces like roofs and parking
lots, limiting erosion and the spread of pollutants, she explained.
regional plan would serve the Meadow Creek watershed. The creek
now disappears into pipes underneath the Dell area near Ruffner
Hall, then flows under Emmet Street, behind the parking garage,
Memorial Gym and Nameless Field, under University Avenue and Carrs
Hill field before resurfacing near the Lambeth Field apartments.
$1.4 million storm-water management plan calls for bringing Meadow
Creek back to the surface through much of that path, then feeding
it into a small pond between the proposed new basketball arena and
Emmet Street, Gomez said.
the philosophy behind the plan, Gomez said storm water is
not something we want to get into a pipe and get out of here as
soon as we can, but something to celebrate and enjoy.
all, the infrastructure projects add up to about $12.5 million of
the Universitys $68.3 million portion of the higher education
bond referendum a number that got some faculty members
attention, Sheehy said.
be honest with you, the provost got a little grief from some of
the faculty, who look at the list of the projects that were approved
and see $12 million for infrastructure and say, Wow! You know,
we could have another building for that, she said. But
they have to have those projects
because without them, the
buildings that are being built would not operate.