Temporary walkway opens outside Newcomb Hall as crews repair stairs

Construction on University Remembrance Garden also underway between Newcomb and Clemons Library


The temporary walkway recently opened between Newcomb Hall and Brown College. 

Callie Collins | Cavalier Daily

The temporary walkway that recently opened between Newcomb Hall and Brown College will remain in use until the first week of December, when construction on the stairs just east of the entrances to N2GO and In the Nood is expected to be completed.

In an email to The Cavalier Daily, Matt Charles, the University’s deputy spokesperson, said the old stairs are undergoing construction because of water leaks.

“The existing stairs were in need of repair and waterproofing so that we can prevent moisture from infiltrating the building,” Charles said.

Lemont Loving, a foreman on the construction site, said that the construction plan is to strip off all the old waterproof membranes.

“There was water below the walkways,” Loving said. “The idea is to strip them all off, re-waterproof them and put them all back to make sure everywhere is dry and safe for students.” 

In addition to the construction on the temporary walkway near Newcomb Hall, there is also a garden — the University Remembrance Garden — that is being built between Newcomb Hall and Clemons Library. 

Nicole Sherman is an expert from the Charlottesville concrete firm Fine Concrete who specializes in urban landscape design. She said the purpose of the garden is to memorialize University students who have died while at the University. A concrete blank wall will be built where students can leave notes.

“The purpose of the wall is to provide students with a contemporary space where they can write messages,” Sherman said. “There will be nothing on the wall. The blank surface is for students to write down their thoughts with chalk.”

“There will be a long wall and some benches in front of the wall. The building material is Ultra High Performance Concrete,” Sherman added. “The words will wash off so nothing is permanent. It is just a place for students to remember and to be together.”

The project was introduced by a University alumnus who joined Fine Concrete after graduation. 

“It is part of a project created by Daniel McGovern, a student from the University's Architecture department who graduated last May,” Sherman said. “It is a lovely collaborative project. Daniel created this project while at U.Va. and has been working on this project for four years.”

The remembrance garden is expected to be completed by Nov. 3. 

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