Architecture is my delight,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “and putting up and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements.” That preoccupation continues at the University, where there’s been a steady stream of building, rebuilding, altering and expanding since the first classes were held on the Lawn in 1825.
Currently, there is “as much construction as we’ve ever had going on,” according to Leonard Sandridge, UVA’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2010, UVA will spend $308 million on capital projects, largely funded by private contributions. Sandridge added that the construction flurry will continue over the next two years before slowing down in 2012.
Sandridge says one significant difference between this period of growth and a similar period in the early 1970s is higher aesthetic expectations. “There was a willingness to accept a quality of construction and appearance that we do not have the appetite for today,” he says.
Another difference is the way the University is growing. David Neuman, Architect for the University, says the focus is on redevelopment instead of expanding
geographically. Neuman says planners hope to find new ways to use existing infrastructure as the University adds about 150 students a year. For example, the University is looking at how buildings can be expanded above or below ground without increasing their overall footprints.
The $105 million, 109,000-square-foot South Lawn Project—one of Central Grounds’ largest additions—is nearing the finish line. Nau Hall (history) and Gibson Hall (politics and religious studies) opened for classes at the start of this semester; the commons building and terrace are slated for completion this summer.
Projects in Progress
(with estimated completion dates and costs)