Media Advisory: U.Va. Will Dedicate Rice Hall on Friday

November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 — The Rice Hall Information Technology Engineering Building, part of a new gateway for engineering and science at the University of Virginia, will be dedicated Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.

Media are invited to attend. Please RSVP by Nov. 17 by contacting Marian Anderfuren in the Office of Public Affairs, 434-243-2293 or

The ceremony will be held in a large tent erected in the parking area across from Rice Hall and next to Small Hall. Speakers will be U.Va. Rector Helen E. Dragas, President Teresa A. Sullivan, Dean James H. Aylor and Paul Rice, whose lead gift of $10 million through the Rice Family Foundation made the building possible.

Several of the speakers will be available for brief interviews.

As part of the day's celebration, Dean Kamen, whose inventions include the first portable insulin infusion pump, the HomeChoice peritoneal dialysis system and the Segway Personal Transporter, will speak at 3 p.m. in Rice Hall's Olsson Auditorium. We are uncertain at this point whether he will be available for media interviews.

Parking for media will be reserved in the E3 and E4 lots across Whitehead Road from Rice Hall.

About Rice Hall: The $65.5 million building facilitates research and learning in areas that include high-performance computing, computer visualization, computer security, energy conservation, wireless communications, telemedicine, virtual reality, distributed multimedia and distance learning. The building also is the new home to the Computer Science Department and the computer engineering program. The six-story building includes a basement level with high-bay labs. Its distinctive exterior comprises 20,329 linear feet of glass – 40 percent of its total exterior. The building was designed by Bohlin Cynwinski Jackson and built by W.M. Jordan Company.

Other features:
•    150-seat auditorium
•    boardroom equipped with a 103-inch plasma monitor
•    flexible teaching and research labs
•    workgroup and study areas for students
•    cyber café
•    wireless-enabled collaboration software

By the numbers:
•    250,000 feet of network cable
•    650,000 feet of wire for power and lighting
•    186,531 bricks
•    793 tons of structural steel
•    110,000 pounds of ductwork
•    40,000 feet of piping

About Paul Rice: A 1975 graduate of the Engineering School in electrical engineering, Rice is the founder and former president of PEC Solutions Inc., a company that designs complex, customized technology systems for large government agencies and municipalities. It was acquired by Nortel Networks in 2005. High-res video available for download on YouTube.

About Dean Kamen: Read his biography here.

Media Contact

Josie Pipkin

Director of Communications, School of Engineering and Applied Science