BOV discusses Rotunda repairs

Board also approves indoor practice facility, expansion of North Grounds Recreation Center

The Board of Visitors discussed further plans for the ongoing renovation of the Rotunda yesterday. It also approved the concept, site and design guidelines for the proposed indoor practice facility near University Hall and the proposed expansion of the North Grounds Recreation Center.

Chief Facilities Officer Don Sundgren said the University has not yet finished going through the work plan for the Rotunda and will not know the extent of repairs needed until it completes the plan in February.

The repairs are estimated to take between 12 and 14 months and could potentially extend through the graduations of both the classes of 2012 and 2013.

"We'd like to compress [the work schedule] significantly," Sundgren said, though he added that "unforeseeable conditions" may become apparent when the renovation begins if the building is more damaged than expected.

Currently, the planned repairs include tenting the building as the roof is removed, replacing acoustic panels with acoustic plaster and temporarily closing the Dome Room. The magnolia trees surrounding the Rotunda will also be removed, perhaps permanently, because of concerns of damaging the building in inclement weather.

University Architect David Neuman said they may be replaced with trees more ornamental in style, or none at all.

"There's a design in progress that will be more Jeffersonian," he said. "The original Jefferson design did not have any of [these magnolia trees]."

The plans for the indoor practice facility include overhead doors which will connect the outdoor practice fields with the new indoor fields. VMDO Architects of Charlottesville, who worked on the John Paul Jones Arena design and the Track & Field facilities, and Knight Architects of Atlanta, who designed Georgia Tech's new indoor practice facilities, will design the University's facility.

Neuman said he hopes to use the large roof on the facility to catch rainwater, in the hopes that the facility will provide some of its own water resources.

"We have a high water demand over there and we think we can capture the runoff from this roof and store it," Neuman said. "Both the natural fields that are nearby and even the artificial fields need to be watered."

The indoor practice facility is estimated to cost between $11 million and $13 million.

The North Grounds Recreation Center expansion is designed to better serve the University's growing population. Neuman said the proposed design includes a new swimming pool because the swimming schedule at the Aquatics and Fitness Center does not offer enough time or space for recreational users.

"When we did our [recreational areas] survey two years ago... [it] indicated that the highest demand of space that we were short of was swimming space," Neuman said.

The center's expansion is estimated to cost between $15.2 million and $17.2 million. The planned expansion also reserves space for the future potential expansion of the Darden School.

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