Hammer Time: Summer Construction Season in Full Swing at U.Va.

May 27, 2011 — The University of Virginia has another summer of extensive construction and renovation under way, with projects that restore historic buildings, create new ones and expand familiar facilities.

Here's a rundown of the major projects that will be active this summer.

University Bookstore

The University Bookstore is expanding its 34,500-square-foot main floor westward with an additional 16,500 square feet extending over the Central Grounds Parking Garage. The expansion, designed by Bowie Gridley Architects, includes retail and support space for the bookstore. Originally built in 1994, the bookstore also has 10,500 square feet on the mezzanine level.

Both the bookstore and the parking garage have remained open during the $10.5 million project, scheduled for completion in October.

Garrett Hall

Garrett Hall has undergone extensive renovation to become the home of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

The work preserves the building's historic great hall as a multi-purpose work and gathering space, restores the original two-story lobby, and provides administrative and faculty offices, support offices and student work rooms. The renovations also include replacing heating, ventilation and air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems, and bringing the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Originally built in 1908, and designed by McKim, Mead and White to be the University's refectory, the three-story, 16,760-square-foot building was the first large dining facility at the University. It remained in use as a dining hall until the completion of Newcomb Hall in 1958, at which time Garrett Hall was converted to office use. The 8,640-square-foot underground annex, on the east side, was added in 1970.

The $14 million project, with renovations designed by Architectural Resources Group/ Frazier Associates, is scheduled to be complete in July.

Newcomb Hall

U.Va.'s student activities center, one of the busiest structures on Grounds, is adding space, sprucing up facilities and incorporating new technology in a $21 million project that should be complete by October 2012.

The 160,000-square-foot building will expand its footprint by roughly 20,000 square feet with a two-story addition, designed by Cole & Denny Inc., that will add about 500 new dining seats to the facility, as well as renovated activity space and a new front entrance on the ground floor on the west side of the building. The primary information desk will remain on the ground floor and the entrance hallway will be widened. The new extensions will consume about a quarter of the plaza space between Newcomb Hall and the University Bookstore.

Renovations to the second-floor dining space will include a complete revamping of the food preparation and presentation areas. New energy-efficient equipment will be installed, electric cookers will be converted to natural gas, seating will be increased from 885 to 1,200, and the central kitchen area will be replaced with approximately nine open food preparation areas.

The third-floor ballroom and the adjacent gallery and lounge spaces have been completely renovated, with new plaster, a new floor, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and significant acoustical treatments. The ballroom's balcony has been converted to storage.

Mechanical systems and controls upgrades throughout the building will provide increased energy and operational efficiency, while a new fire alarm system and other electrical upgrades will improve the building's life safety.

The Cavalier Game Room, Newcomb Theater and its lobby are also slated for renovation.

The Rice Hall Information Technology and Engineering Building

One of several new buildings in the University's science initiative, focused on sustaining the work of existing faculty and attracting new researchers, Rice Hall will provide space for teaching, computational research and student projects for the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The building, at the corner of Whitehead and Stadium roads, will contain information technology and provide new space for classroom laboratories, research laboratories, departmental and faculty offices and a 150-seat auditorium. Rice Hall was designed and constructed concurrently with the College of Arts & Sciences Physical and Life Science Research Building.

The five-story, 100,000-square-foot building, with a basement and penthouse mechanical space, will feature modern architectural features and help to define the southern entrance to the science and engineering precinct. The main entrance is on Engineers Way and the new building is connected to Olsson Hall at the basement level.

The $76.3 million project, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, is scheduled to be complete this summer.

College of Arts & Sciences Physical and Life Sciences Research Building

The College of Arts & Sciences Physical and Life Sciences Research Building will provide additional physical and life sciences space, primarily in chemistry and biology. The building also provides modern research laboratory facilities that will attract and retain faculty and students and to relieve a shortage of laboratory space on Grounds.

The five-story, 100,000-square-foot building, plus mechanical penthouse, will feature modern architecture and finishes, and will be connected to the existing Chemistry Building and annex for pedestrians on all floors except the basement. The main building will consist of laboratories on all five floors, laboratory support areas, administrative office space and conference rooms. The mechanical and electrical systems for the main building are contained primarily in the basement and the mechanical penthouse floor, located above the five research levels.

Construction on the $88.9 million project, designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, is scheduled to be completed by August.

Jordan Hall

Old Jordan Hall is undergoing the replacement of its heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The original seven-story building opened in 1971 as the home of the School of Medicine, and an addition with laboratory, office and classroom space opened in 1995. The HVAC replacement is for the original building and does not cover the new addition.

The first floor of Jordan Hall contains two 152-seat lecture halls, where most of the first- and second-year Medical School lectures are given; a smaller seminar room; and anatomy laboratories. The second floor houses student laboratories designed for individual exercises in histology and pathology, as well as group experiments and teaching sessions in microbiology. The rest of the second floor contains basic science research laboratories. The academic offices and research laboratories of the departments of Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Microbiology occupy the top five floors.

The work is scheduled to be complete by December.

Hunter Smith Band Building

The two-story Hunter Smith Band Building is a 16,400-square-foot project containing a 4,000-square-foot rehearsal room, 1,800 square feet of additional multi-purpose practice and teaching areas, and instrument storage and administrative space. The $12.7 million project is bordered by Culbreth Road and the Buckingham Branch Railroad, near Ruffin Hall.

The new building, designed by William Rawn Associates, will provide the marching band with a permanent home within walking distance to the Carr's Hill practice field and storage facility, as well as space for the entire band, smaller instrument section rehearsals or host band ensemble practice. It will also serve as a unique gathering space for family, friends and alumni during the football and basketball seasons.

Construction is scheduled to be complete by August.

Pavilion IX

Renovations to the historic pavilion are being performed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The project includes updating fire suppression systems and appliances and replacing window air conditioning units by connecting the pavilion to the University's central heating and air system. The work also includes refinishing the original heart pine floors. The project will reopen a window that was closed off when the kitchen was renovated in 1983 and expanded onto part of the porch.

Pavilion IX is only about 5,000 square feet and rather than large columns in front, it has a curved entrance, which Thomas Jefferson modeled after the Hotel D'Guimard in Paris. The building was extended in the rear in the 1830s and the porch was added in the late 1800s.

The $2.1 million renovation project should wrap up in July.

Thrust Theater

The first of a two-phase expansion of the Drama Building on Culbreth Road, the two-story theater will be built into a steep hillside east of the existing Drama Building and connected to the existing Culbreth Theatre lobby and ticketing area. The addition will contain a 7,000-square-foot multi-purpose performance and film theatre.

The project includes approximately 4,000 square feet of renovation to the existing lobby and adjacent ticketing areas currently serving the Culbreth Theatre. Performance and stage support, as well as storage and rest rooms, make up the balance of this 20,540-square-foot project. The exposed northern façade of the Thrust Theatre will consist primarily of structural glass curtain wall to maximize daylight and aesthetics associated with its unique site constraints.

The $13.5 million project has been designed by William Rawn Associates and should be completed by October 2012.

Hospital Bed Expansion

The hospital bed expansion at the Medical Center is a six-story, 46,000-square-foot addition to the north façade of the building's central tower that will add 72 critical care-capable patient rooms, with 12 private-room nursing units on floors three through eight. The patient rooms are designed with a full bathroom, allowing them to be used for critical care, step-down care, or acute care, providing maximum flexibility.

The project also involves 62,000 square feet of renovation to create the approximately 12,000-square-foot nursing units on each of the six patient care floors.

The design of the exterior was informed, in large part, by the design of the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, which was completed earlier this year across Lee Street, and the hospital bed towers are oriented to face it. The design incorporates a glazed curtain wall system and the patient rooms are oriented to provide wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling glass, maximizing natural light in the patient rooms while taking advantage of the northern exposure.

The $80.2 million project, designed by SmithGroup, is scheduled for occupancy by the fall.

New Residence Halls

The University is proceeding with phases three and four in its plan to replace 11 residence houses in the Alderman Road residence area, all built in the 1960s, with seven new facilities.

The University first constructed Kellogg House, then demolished Dobie, Balz and Watson houses, replacing them with two larger residence halls and a commons building – all of which should be completed this summer. The commons building is designed to provide a flexible, central gathering venue for first-year students and others from across Grounds.

This year, the University is demolishing Webb, Maupin, Lile and Tuttle houses and replacing them with three more residence halls, which are scheduled to open in 2013.

In addition to student rooms, studies and lounges in each building, the entry-level floors will be oriented to illuminate and animate gathering places and pathways housing a variety of spaces for teaching, meeting and studying. Schematic design and bridging documents for all three buildings were prepared by Ayers/Saint/Gross Architects + Planners, and W.M. Jordan Company and Clark Nexsen Architecture & Engineering were selected as the design-build team. Phases three and four are budgeted at $83 million.

— By Matt Kelly

Media Contact

Matt Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications