UVA Panel Endorses Hotel and Conference Center Design

(This article was originally published in the March 6, 2021 installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement)

The Buildings and Grounds Committee of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors met yesterday and approved the schematic design for a new hotel and conference center, as well as an athletics complex. The $130.5 million hotel project will be located near the new School of Data Science within the emerging Ivy Corridor. (meeting packet)

“A mixed-use hospitality, convening, and social destination in this central location will provide a catalyst to achieve these strategic goals set by the President’s Emmet Ivy Task Force,” reads the staff report. 

Those goals include supporting the Democracy Initiative, an initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences and other institutions.

The University and its real estate foundation have been purchasing land along Ivy Road for many years to assemble enough space, including the Cavalier Inn. That structure was demolished in the summer of 2018 and the place where it stood will remain undeveloped according to a 2020 site plan. 

The hotel will have 215 rooms and 28,000 square feet of space for conferences. It will wrap around the existing parking garage. 

The $95 million athletic complex will include a new Football Operations Center and an Olympic Sports Center intended to support more than two dozen varsity sports. 

“Given the proximity to Central Grounds, North Grounds, the Ivy Corridor, and various athletic event venues, the Athletics Complex provides a unique opportunity to bring student athletes, other UVA students, coaches, staff, faculty, and the broader community together,” reads that staff report. 

The Buildings and Grounds Committee also discussed amendments to the UVA major capital plan including about a $1 billion reduction in projects from the 2020 plan due to various deferrals.

Projects currently under construction include renovations at Alderman Library, a Student and Wellness Center, and the Inn at Darden. Other funded projects in the planning stages include a second upper-class residence hall on Brandon Avenue, the Contemplative Sciences Center, and the renovation of the Physics building. 

Construction projects currently on hold include a parking garage to serve an expanded Fontaine Research Center, an academic building for the Batten School, and renovations at Old Cabell Hall. 

Source: Presentation to UVA Board of Visitors Building and Grounds Committee

The Buildings and Grounds Committee also got an update on sustainability highlights at UVA. This includes work toward a project called “Climate Justice Mapping” by the UVA Equity Center and UVA Sustainability. 

“The primary goal of the Climate Justice Mapping project is to build platforms for the collaborative identification, collection, and dissemination of information about the disproportionate harm of adverse environmental impacts on communities of color through a series of accessible  interactive climate justice maps and graphics,” reads that staff report. 

Other community programs include the UVA Sustainable Food CollaborativeCheck the whole packet for details

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