By Sookhan Ho
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 02 - September 3, 1998
University administrators briefed the Board of Visitors' Buildings and Grounds Committee last week on capital projects being designed or under construction. Some highlights:
Special Purpose Housing Phase III
VMDO Architects is resigning from its contract, said Spencer Hall, assistant vice president for facilities. The architects and the university have been unable to reach agreement on a design within the project budget.
Phase III, which will add eight more residential buildings for Greek organizations, was originally scheduled for completion by August, 2000. Completion is now expected to be delayed in approximately a year. Special Purpose Housing is located west of the Golf Course close to the 460 Bypass. It currently consists of 10 houses, occupied by seven sororities and three fraternities.
Upper Quad Conversion Phase II
University Architect Scott Hurst discussed plans for the next phase for converting buildings in the Upper Quad into faculty offices and classrooms. Hurst said that buildings targeted in this phase are Shanks, Henderson, and Shultz halls. Shanks will receive a 7,000-square-foot addition, he said, while part of Shultz is being considered for studio space for communications studies. Schematic drawings have been completed for both buildings, but the design for Henderson has been delayed by unresolved programmatic and space issues. To date, only planning funds have been authorized for this phase of Upper Quad Conversion.
The committee, acting on a suggestion from member Donald Huffman, requested the university to look for alternatives to the temporary quarters for the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and his staff near Major Williams Hall, and to plan for the removal of the temporary quarters "as soon as practical." The college's administrative offices were moved into the temporary modular building in 1996. They are expected to relocate permanently to the Performing Arts Building after about six years, said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Ray Smoot.
Alumni Center Planning
Hurst said the university is hiring a hospitality consultant to conduct a market analysis and examine the viability of the new hotel/conference center that is being considered in conjunction with the proposed new Alumni Center on Prices Fork Road.
McComas Hall (Student Health and
The building, at the intersection of West Campus Drive and Washington Street, is "essentially complete and two thirds occupied," Hall said. The $21.6-million, 130,000-square-foot, L-shaped building will be paid for by student fees. It houses Student Health Services, including counseling; and recreational and fitness facilities, including a swimming pool, a three-court gym, an elevated jogging track, weight rooms, and multi-purpose spaces for aerobics and other activities.
Newly completed buildings that are occupied and operating, Hall said, are the Merryman Athletic Facility, Burchard Hall (a 42,000-square-foot underground addition to Cowgill Hall), and two new residence halls in "Pritchard Prairie" (bounded by Pritchard, Lee, and O'Shaughnessy halls at one end and Dietrick, Owens, and Payne halls on the other) that have a total capacity of approximately 440 beds. The fully air-conditioned dorms feature various room/suite styles and have laundry, kitchen, and lounge facilities.
The committee approved new names proposed by the university for the following facilities: Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases (old name: Anaerobic Bacteriology Laboratory), Art and Design Learning Center (old name: Printing Plant--Printing Services vacated its building which has been renovated and is now occupied by the Art Department), Media Building (old name: Media Services Building), Media Annex (old name: TV and Film Building), and Ag Quad Lane (previously unnamed), a service road south of the Ag Quad near the Fralin Biotechnology Center.
Committee members Cecil Maxson (chair), Thomas Rust, Donald Huffman, and graduate-student representative Roxene Thompson later toured McComas Hall and the Merryman Athletic Facility.