I am pleased that the Board of Visitors has approved the renovations to the Rotunda and that the work will be proceeding next year. Nevertheless, I implore the University architect and the restoration team to find a way to initiate and shorten the schedule so it does not impact potentially two commencements. If the overall schedule is currently projected as lasting 12 to 14 months, as has been announced, there is no reason to believe it is not possible to shorten this so that work can start immediately after the 2012 commencement and be completed before the 2013 commencement.
As a University graduate and father of a student in the Class of 2013, I want to stress how symbolically important a commencement on the Lawn is and the role that the Rotunda plays in that event. To have the Rotunda dome shrouded for two commencements would be very unfortunate, especially when it is avoidable. It is bad enough that the column capitals are shrouded in black - why not white, by the way?
It rained on my graduation in 1976 and commencement was moved to University Hall. Although we cannot control the weather, we can control construction schedules. As an architect who has worked on many significant projects, I know that if a project is scheduled to take 14 months it can be done in less than 12 months with the right leadership and incentives in place for the team.
The University administration and architect should insist on it.
Guy Geier\nArchitecture '76 \nGraduate Architecture '78