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University architect Anderson to retire in spring

Samuel A. "Pete" Anderson III, will take his last walk through Grounds as the Architect for the University on May 16.

Anderson, who has presided over facilities planning, architectural and landscape design since June 1995, will retire to pursue personal interests.

"I'll be 70 this year and it's time to make some time to do a million other things I want to do," Anderson said.

He said his plans include building a wooden sailboat, fishing, traveling and painting.

"I want to be able to pick up a book in the middle of the day and not feel guilty about it," Anderson added.

A search committee for Anderson's replacement has yet to be formed, according to Colette Sheehy, vice president for management and budget.

The Architect for the University is primarily an oversight and communication position.

"He is the major advisor to the Board of Visitors on design issues," Sheehy said. "Also, he is the physical planner and directs the master plan and development for the University."

Anderson said his current post should not be confused with the duties of the facilities management department.

"We are in charge of kindling and keeping the vision going and facilities management is in charge of seeing it built," Anderson said.

Anderson succeeded Harry W. Porter Jr., becoming the first full-time Architect for the University, and has since overseen the stadium expansion, construction of Woody and Cauthen residence halls, the Clark Hall addition and renovation, and work on the medical research building.

Ongoing projects to which Anderson has contributed include the new basketball arena and special events center, the studio art precinct and the South Lawn project.

"There's millions of dollars of stuff being overseen right now and most of it's on track," Anderson said.

When Anderson hands over the architectural reins in the spring, current projects should be largely unaffected by the transition, Sheehy said.

"They just continue in their design development and hopefully the hiatus between Pete's departure and the new architect coming on board won't be too long," she said.

Although a search has not yet begun, Sheehy said she hopes to have the position filled by the start of the next academic year.

Criteria on which applicants may be judged include architectural background, interpersonal skills and master planning experience at a college or university.

"As representative of the Board's vision, the person needs to be able to implement that vision, as opposed to necessarily bringing their own ideas here," Sheehy said.

Anderson said he expects his replacement to be someone who understands the "ethos" of the University.

"There's a softness about this place and we never want to get very far away from that," he said.

Because of the nature of the position, the Board likely will make the final decision on Anderson's replacement, Sheehy said.