The Board of Visitors’ Buildings and Grounds Committee met Thursday at 2 p.m. to approve the renaming of Maury Hall, discuss revisions to the Major Capital Plan and hear about sustainability initiatives at the University.
The meeting was available to the public through a live stream and was held in-person in the Board Room of the Rotunda. It was part of a two-day series of meetings held by the Board of Visitors.
Committee chair Robert Hardie introduced the meeting before turning over the discussion to University Architect Alice Raucher.
The committee first approved the design for the U.Va. Encompass Rehabilitation Hospital, which helps patients recover after a life changing illness or injury. Frederick and Associates Architects are handling the project.
The proposal for the building includes a new addition to the existing Fontaine Research Park and has a budget of $35 million. The existing Fontaine Research Park contains eight buildings housing offices, clinics and research labs for a variety of University departments, including the Fontaine Medical Office. Raucher noted that with the addition there will be a total of 65 in-patient rooms.
“The work will also include new accessible and landscape entry into the new facility,” Raucher said.
Renaming Maury Hall and dedication of Keunen Garden
The committee then approved the renaming of Maury Hall to John W. Warner Hall. The building was originally named after Matthew Fontaine Maury — an astronomer, oceanographer, meteorologist and cartographer — when it was owned by the United States Navy.
Maury had no connection to the University other than delivering a speech in support of enslavement to the University community in 1855. Maury held positions as a naval officer both for the U.S. and the Confederacy, and was an outspoken advocate for maintaining the American system of enslavement but outsourcing enslaved labor to countries in South America. Based on this biography, in July 2020, Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond directed the city to remove a statue of Maury on the city’s historic Monument Avenue.
The new name will honor World War II and Korean War veteran John W. Warner. Warner attended the School of Law and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, serving on multiple committees and continuing to visit the University up until his death in 2021.
The committee approved the naming of the Keunen Garden in the Darden School of Business’ Flagler Courtyard at the request of Charles G. Duffy, 1987 graduate of Darden and supporter of Darden and the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Duffy wishes to honor Jeannine Keunen, a close friend of Duffy and Duffy’s former classmate in Switzerland, who passed in 2009.
Updates to the 2022 Capital Plan
Following voting on the action items, Colette Sheehy, senior vice president for operations and state government relations, reported updates to the Major Capital Plan introduced by the Board of Visitors in June 2021. No action was taken by the committee but approval will be required in the next Board of Visitors meeting this June.
The development of the Major Capital Plan, which provides a breakdown the the University’s allocation of funds for major construction projects and facilities planning, begins each fall and is completed in June. The process begins with schools and departments submitting capital proposals which then enter into a lengthy process throughout the school year whereby submissions are compared to budget and space limitations.
The 2021 Capital Plan totaled roughly $3 billion. After being adjusted for completed plans and additional projects, the 2022 Capital Plan totals roughly $2.7 billion.
Of the total 2022 Capital Plan budget, 39 percent is made up of projects that have not been initiated yet, 33 percent is allocated to projects currently under construction and 28 percent is projects in the planning and design phases.
Since the Board approved the 2021 Capital Plan, three projects are in need of design authorization for the 2022 Capital Plan. These include a new Center for the Arts, additions to the School of Architecture Center for Design and a new School of Engineering building. The estimated cost of these plans is roughly $20.1 million.
Sheehy noted that planning is in the very early stages for the Architecture and Engineering buildings.
“There is a need for additional space for Architecture and Engineering and in fact Engineering is probably about 150,000 square feet in deficit in terms of research space,” Sheehy said.
Four projects — establishing an Institute for Biotechnology, building out the Ivy Corridor Landscape, addressing maintenance needs at Memorial Gym through the Memorial Gym Infrastructure and Accessibility Renewal plan and updating the Monroe Hall HVAC through the Monroe Hall Addition HVAC Renewal plan — are proposed to be added to the Capital Plan. The estimated budget for these projects is $391.3 million.
Sheehy said that the aim of the Institute for Biotechnology is to serve the greater community as well as the University.
“The intention is that it would attract any biotechnology companies who would want to work with our faculty and to locate in and around Charlottesville,” Sheehy said.
The committee discussed removing one project — the Batten School Academic Building — from the Capital Plan as the space for the Batten School is currently being planned into additions to the Karsh Institute of Democracy. The estimated budget for the new building was $60 million.
Sheehy noted the progress that has been made since the Capital Plan was approved in June of 2021.
“We have actually completed quite a bit of work in the last year, $700 million worth of projects and some of the notable ones include the University Hospital expansion, the Orthopedic Center and the Student Health and Wellness Center,” Sheehy said.
Proposal of strategic studies
The University plans to initiate two strategic planning studies in order to better inform future projects. The first will be a Child Development Center Feasibility Study which will aim to address the lack of space needed to support the full capacity child care centers.
Currently there are two childcare centers supporting the childcare needs for Academic Division faculty and staff as well as full-time students. The Copeley Center facility located near North Grounds is owned by the University, while the Earhart Center located one mile down Route 29 from Grounds is leased by a contract provider. Currently, both centers are running at capacity with enrollment openings in high demand.
“We serve 179 children between two centers but we want to try to look more holistically and efficiently at both sites to address our childcare needs,” Sheehy said.
The second, a School of Nursing Instructional Space Study, attempts to address the lack of classroom and instructional space required to support nursing students and faculty.
Updates on ongoing projects
As the final agenda item, Sheehy reported on projects currently underway throughout Grounds such as the Alderman Library Renewal, the Ivy Corridor Projects and the growth of the Brandon Avenue landscaping.
The first phase of the Ivy Corridor project is currently under construction and will include a University Hotel and Conference Center. This phase is set to be completed in the Fall of 2023.
Sheehy stated that Alderman Library is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023 and is roughly 50 percent complete. The library is in the process receiving updates to the infrastructure, increased accessibility and better facilities for print collections.
“I think it's really amazing to see how that addition is going to transform that intersection of McCormick and University Avenue,” Sheehy said.
The Buildings and Grounds committee will be given the opportunity to vote on any revisions to the capital plan and capital projects during the next meeting of the Board of Visitors in June.