As the year draws to a close, UVa Today will look back at milestones, achievements, trends and big stories of 2011. To share your 2011 thoughts, visit the UVA Today News Blog or send us a tweet @uva using hashtag #uva2011.
December 19, 2011 — In the second half of the year, eight buildings – comprising nearly 350,000 square feet – opened for business at the University of Virginia, ranging from new construction to renovations to additions.
Major projects included the College of Arts & Sciences' Physical and Life Sciences Research Building and the Engineering School's Rice Hall. The U.Va. Bookstore opened its addition over the Central Grounds Garage, and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy moved into its new home, the renovated Garrett Hall, on Central Grounds.
These projects added about 216,000 square feet of new program space, returned about 34,000 square feet of renovated space to use, and added about 98,000 square feet of expansion space. They also produced two new residence halls, Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb, replacing three that were demolished.
Some of the major projects:
• U.Va.'s West Range Landscaping Refurbished
Nov. 29 — The West Range has a new look – with better pedestrian access and drainage, new erosion control measures and stately stone walls defining the grass along the east side of McCormick Road.
• 'Technologically Inspiring' Rice Hall Is Dedicated
Nov. 19 — The task of designing the University's newest science and technology building was nothing if not daunting, said Paul Rice, namesake of Rice Hall, at its dedication on Friday: "Conceive a facility that is forward-looking and technologically inspiring at one of the most architecturally stunning places in the world."
• Expanded U.Va. Bookstore to Hold Grand Opening During Family Weekend
Oct. 26 — Returning students were greeted this fall with a bigger, better U.Va. Bookstore with 16,000 square feet of additional retail space. Perched atop the Central Grounds Parking Garage on Emmet Street, the store underwent a $10.6 million renovation and expansion over the top deck of the garage.
• U.Va.'s New Physical and Life Sciences Building to Facilitate Research Breakthroughs
Oct. 24 — The new, state-of-the-art Physical and Life Sciences Research Building represents an essential investment in the future of the University of Virginia's research program in the sciences, Arts & Sciences Dean Meredith Jung-En Woo said Friday at the building's dedication.
• Pavilion IX Restored Using Environmentally Responsible Standards, and Largely by U.Va. Tradesmen
Sept. 28 — Pavilion IX on U.Va.'s historic Lawn, which has recently been renovated, is the first Thomas Jefferson-designed building at the University to meet LEED standards for environmentally responsible and sustainable construction.
• Amid Pomp and Circumstance, University Dedicates Hunter Smith Band Building
Sept. 6 — Cavalier Marching Band director William Pease had meticulously checked every detail of the new Hunter Smith Band Building prior to its dedication ceremony Friday at the University of Virginia. But he was still surprised by a late addition to the state-of-the-art facility. The room in which the dedication was held was named the "William E. Pease Band Room," a move that garnered a standing ovation from current and former band members and other representatives of the U.Va. community.
• Housing Aims to Transform the Student Experience with New Residence Halls
Aug. 19 — Members of the Class of 2015 moving in this week will be the first to occupy two new residence halls in the Alderman Road residence area, Balz-Dobie and Watson-Webb. These buildings constitute Phase II of the Alderman Road construction project.
• U.Va. Band Program Finds a Home in Hunter Smith Building
Aug. 15 — The sound-reflecting angled walls and wavy roof are impressive. The double-insulated windows overlooking the railroad tracks catch the eye.
• Amid Renovation, Newcomb Hall Will Be Open for Business
Aug. 15 — Newcomb Hall, a student activities center and one of the busiest buildings on Grounds, is undergoing extensive renovation to add space, spruce up facilities and incorporate new technology. The $33 million, multi-phase project, which began in May 2010, is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.
• Batten School's New Home, Garrett Hall
Aug. 2 — Garrett Hall, which sits at the south end of the West Range overlooking the McIntire Amphitheatre, will begin its third life next month as the home of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the newest of U.Va.'s 11 schools.
• Officials Break Ground for Battle Building, U.Va.'s Children's Hospital
June 9 — University of Virginia officials broke ground today for the Battle Building at U.Va.'s Children's Hospital, the newest addition to the University Health System.
• Ruth Caplin Thrust Theatre Construction Begins
April 18 — Work began this week on the Ruth Caplin Thrust Theatre on Culbreth Road. The $13.5 million, two-story project, designed by William Rawn Associates, is the first of a two-phase expansion of the existing Drama Building. Connected to the existing Culbreth Theatre lobby and box office, the addition will contain a 7,000-square-foot multi-purpose performance and film theater.
• Katie Couric Helps Dedicate Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center
Feb. 28 — Katie Couric and University of Virginia leaders joined hundreds of guests Saturday to dedicate the new Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center, which brings together U.Va.'s cancer experts in a patient-friendly facility with the most advanced treatment options.