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November 23, 2009

UVA’s Sandridge details $265 million in current construction projects

Reader comments (0) By Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Monday, November 23, 2009

Construction activity at the University of Virginia will remain at an increased level over the next two years before dropping off, according to Chief Operating Officer Leonard Sandridge. He detailed how UVA is spending $265 million in 2007 dollars from its capital budget in construction projects this year.

“We have got as much construction as we’ve ever had going on,” Sandridge said. “We are predicting we will spend more on new construction next year.”

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20091119-sandridge Leonard Sandridge
Sandridge briefed Charlottesville and Albemarle leaders at a meeting last Thursday of the Planning and Coordination Council, a joint group which discusses community infrastructure and growth. Next year, UVA will spend $308 million as a slew of projects approach completion.
Sandridge said construction activity will then slow down because a number of large capital projects will have been completed.  He forecasts only $224 million in capital spending in FY2012.

One obstacle is the dwindling amount of state funds for higher education. Sandridge pointed out that no state funds have gone to a 72-bed expansion of the University Medical Center, a new $37.4 million education building (Bavarro Hall), or four new dormitories being built on Alderman Road at a cost of $90.5 million.

Research needs are driving at least some of the construction. Both a new $68.8 million engineering building (Rice Hall) and a new $86.6 million arts and science building (so far unnamed) is part of the University’s push to add 200,000 square feet of research space. Sandridge said every effort is being made to maximize space available on Grounds. 

Another privately funded project is a $3.6 million expansion of the Davenport Field baseball stadium. Sandridge said the sport has become incredibly popular, and is bringing people to UVA who would not have ordinarily come into contact with the school.

In the coming weeks, ground will be broken on a new $12.7 million rehearsal space on Culbreth Road for the UVA Marching Band and other musical activities. This project is being paid for by a gift from philanthropist Hunter Smith.

South-lawn Aerial view of the South Lawn Project. Jefferson Park Avenue runs through the middle of the picture. (Source: UVA)
Sandridge said one difference between this period of growth and a similar period in the early 1970’s is the higher aesthetic expectations today.

“There was a willingness to accept a quality of construction and appearance that we do not have the appetite for today,” Sandridge said.

University-related construction is not restricted to Central Grounds and the Medical Center. The University of Virginia Foundation, which purchases and manages off-grounds properties on behalf of the school, is also in the midst of expansion at its research parks.

Tim Rose, foundation director, said the Fontaine Research Park is now fully built out and awaiting rezoning by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors before expansion can begin. That action is expected in the next year. A second application to expand the North Fork Research park by 30 acres will also come before the Board of Supervisors.

Earlier in the PACC meeting, Albemarle County officials briefed members on the impact the expanding Rivanna Station will have on the community. In all, five DIA functions are being relocated from Bolling Air Force Base to Albemarle County, according to Community Relations Manager Lee Catlin. In all, the DIA has identified 828 positions that will be moving here.

“These are very sophisticated high-technology jobs that are going to be coming down to the community,” Catlin said.

Pace Lochte, UVA’s director of economic development, said that a “miniature intelligence community” is developing around NGIC and the North Fork Research Park. She said NGIC and other intelligence agencies are interested in using UVA as a resource.

“The sky’s the limit in terms of what the community and the DIA can do together,” Lochte said.

“This is the kind of development and economic improvement that every community in this country would just die to have it come into their community,” Sandridge added.

List of construction projects at UVA:

  • Claude Moore Education Building– operational by May 2010
  • Bavarro Hall  – complete by August 2010
  • First two buildings of the South Lawn Project operational by January 2010, rest in July 2010
  • Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center – operational by April 2011
  • Four new Alderman Road dorms to be built in two phases (2 in May 2011, 2 in June 2013)
  • Information Technology and Communication Data Center – operational by May 2011
  • Bookstore expansion – operational by summer 2011
  • Rice Hall (engineering building) on Whitehead and Stadium Road – operational in August 2011
  • College of Arts and Sciences Research Building (currently unnamed) – operational by August 2011
  • Rehearsal space on Culbreth Road – operational by 2011
  • 72-bed intensive care unit expansion at UVA Medical Center – complete by January 2012
  • 01:00 - PACC Meeting called to order by Chairman Ken Boyd
  • 01:15 - Lee Catlin begins presentation on DIA personnel coming to Rivanna Station
  • 15:20 - Boyd asks Leonard Sandridge if UVA is establishing a career ladder training program
  • 20:30 - Boyd asks Susan Stimart if an effort will be made to attract skilled technology workers
  • 22:00 - PACC begins update of UVA capital projects
  • 22:15 - Tim Rose of the UVA Foundation begins presentation
  • 25:05 - Pace Tochten, UVA's director of economic development, talking about UVA's interaction with DIA
  • 33:00 - Sandridge gives update on UVA capital projects
  • 1:05:00 - Acting City Manager Ric Barrick asks about the Arts Gateway at corner of Emmett Street and Ivy Road
  • 1:08:00 - PACC discusses what topics to discuss in 2010


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