Rendering by Perkins and Will Urban Design Studio

One of the most centrally located streets around Grounds is getting a makeover that figures to benefit students for years to come.

In September, the Board of Visitors’ Buildings and Grounds Committee approved a master plan that includes a new building that would provide housing for upper-class students and a student health center at the south end of Brandon Avenue.

“Upper-class student housing was seen as an imminent need,” says University architect Alice Raucher, “and the Board of Visitors is also well aware that the student-health upgrade and expansion is an urgent need as well—just due to the current needs of the student body and the fact that the building now is a little too small.”

Raucher says the goal is to have occupancy in the housing by 2019; the timetable for the health center is less clear. Raucher says the center will aim to host more programs that can “promote wellness, not just treat illnesses.”

Additional phases of the project include the construction of buildings totaling more than 150,000 square feet. “The main floors of all the buildings would be mixed use,” Raucher says, “so it could be a juice bar or a fitness space, or a seminar or research space. Those spaces would be much more active and make this street very safe.”

Sustainability will be an emphasis of the project, with Raucher citing the planned utilization of a storm water landscape on Brandon Avenue as an example.