Monday, June 25, 2012

Please pardon our appearance while we renovate our grounds! 

For those of you visiting the university this summer, you'll find that a good portion of our grounds is currently under construction. While many of these projects will be completed before students return for classes in the fall, some others are more long term. I thought I'd take a minute to talk about some of the exciting projects going on around grounds.

Exterior renovation of the Rotunda
Projects due to be finished by this coming August include the restoration of the chimneys in the student Lawn rooms, as well as the various projects along the Pavilion and Range areas of the Academical Village. Additionally, the Lawn—a central hub for student activities at UVA, ranging from informal games of Ultimate Frisbee to more formal events like Convocation and Commencement—will undergo a massive replacement due to drainage issues from years of use, and will be completed before classes start this fall.
Jefferson’s ‘Temple of Knowledge’, the Rotunda, has also begun a renovation project in order to replace its dome roof, skylight, and exterior masonry. This phase, which will last through summer of 2013, is the first of many in a multi-year project that will involve future repairs to the column capitols and the portico roofs. This is the third major renovation of the Rotunda in UVA’s history, including Stanford White’s renovation of the Rotunda following an 1895 fire, and the 1976 project to restore the Rotunda back to its original Jeffersonian design.

Other construction projects around grounds pertinent to incoming students include the Alderman road residence halls and the Newcomb Hall renovation. The Newcomb Hall renovation will include a completely revamped dining area, as well as renovations for the Cavalier Game Room and Newcomb Theater, and is slated for completion come November 2012. The residence halls currently under construction in the Alderman road residence area will be completed in August of 2013 and will provide incoming students with state of the art resident halls complete with modern amenities and a strong emphasis on facilitating intellectual discourse within a living community.

Alderman Road Residence Halls
All current projects are also being carried out with a focus on the environmental sustainability of the structures. The Alderman road residence halls and the restoration of New Cabell Hall are seeking a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating of Silver and Gold, respectively, from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED rating system looks at the environmental impact of buildings based on five main categories including Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality.

While these restoration and rebuilding projects can pose somewhat of a hassle (and an eyesore) while navigating around the university, it's a price we're willing to pay in order to maintainand constantly improveboth the beauty and functionality of our historic university.


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