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U.Va. To Move Forward With Construction Of Arena And Special Events Center

April 3, 2003-- The University of Virginia announced today that it has reached the $75 million mark in fund raising for its new arena and special events center, allowing construction of the project to begin in late spring. To cost an estimated $130 million, the facility will provide a new home court for the U.Va. men’s and women’s basketball programs when completed in late summer 2006.

The University can move forward with construction thanks to two new gifts from longtime benefactors of the institution. Paul Tudor Jones II of Greenwich, Conn., whose $20 million pledge in 2001 helped launch the arena initiative, has made a new commitment of $10 million. In addition, William H. Goodwin Jr. of Richmond, a member of the University’s Board of Visitors, has committed $5 million to advance the project.

“These extraordinary gifts, combined with the other commitments we’ve received, give us the foundation of support necessary to begin work on the facility and to meet the schedule for construction we set two years ago,” said University President John T. Casteen III. “The remarkable generosity of Paul Jones and Bill Goodwin exemplifies their uncommon devotion to elevating both our academic and athletics programs for the lasting benefit of the University and the community.”

VMDO Architects of Charlottesville is working with Ellerbe Becket of Kansas City, Mo., on the design of the arena and special events center. The firm Barton Malow will serve as construction manager. The facility will be built on Massie Road across from University Hall, U.Va’s current basketball venue. Largely unchanged since it was completed in 1965, U-Hall holds fewer than 8,400 seats and is the smallest basketball arena in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The new arena will hold 15,000 spectators and will increase the quality, as well as the quantity, of seating at Virginia basketball games. Forming a U-shaped bowl, the seating configuration will offer better sight lines and will move fans closer to the court. The building also will provide improved facilities for players, including men’s and women’s locker rooms, a weight room and a training room. Separate practice courts will enable the men’s and women’s teams to practice simultaneously and while the arena is in use for other purposes.

As a result of the generous support this project has received, we will strengthen not only men’s and women’s basketball but all sports at Virginia,” said U.Va. Athletics Director Craig Littlepage. The revenue generated by basketball, he noted, benefits each of the University’s 25 varsity athletics programs.

Littlepage also stressed that the building will be more than a sports complex. Its design affords ready adaptation into a site for concerts and other cultural events, convocations, high school graduations and other community gatherings. University Hall, which has never been air-conditioned, has long been inadequate as a setting for concerts, lectures and conventions.

“These new gifts will help us to create an attractive and convenient place where we can bring the community together,” said Littlepage. “Paul Jones, Bill Goodwin and the other donors who have joined this effort are providing an invaluable asset to our students, our faculty, the University and citizens of this region.”

Paul Tudor Jones II, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University in 1976, is chairman of the Tudor Group, a money management firm he founded in the 1980s. Over the past 15 years, he has given to many areas of the University, including the Jefferson Scholars Program, the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and the McIntire School of Commerce. A champion of efforts to protect the world’s environment, he provided U.Va. a $10 million challenge gift for the construction of a new environmental sciences research facility.

Jones also has been a strong advocate for the University’s new arena. Chairman of the volunteer committee that guides the project, he provided funding for initial planning and design of the facility. His $20 million gift in 2001, along with another $20 million given by an anonymous donor, set the pace of fund raising for the building, which will be constructed entirely with non-state revenues. The project has attracted a number of other major gifts this past year, including $1 million commitments from alumni Robert V. Hatcher Jr., of Richmond, Anthony F. Markel of Manakin Sabot and Paul H. Saunders of Christiansted, Virgin Islands.

A member of the Board of Visitors since 1996, Goodwin is chairman of CCA Industries Inc., whose holdings include the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Kiawah Island Resort in South Carolina, Pompanette Inc. and Bag Boy Company. Like Jones, he has supported many areas of the University. He and his wife, Alice, have given more than $25 million to the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, where he received his MBA degree in 1966. More recently the Goodwins have committed nearly $10 million to advancing innovative cancer treatments at the University, including an effort to develop anti-cancer vaccines.

Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-1400

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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