UVa Buildings and Grounds Committee reviews new buildings at Fontaine Research Center

The University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors is meeting this week for one of their quarterly meetings. Members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee were shown design concepts for several future developments. 

“The first three concept site design guidelines coming to you for your approval are at Fontaine Park and in support of the Manning Institute for Biotechnology,” said Alice Raucher, the University of Virginia Architect. 

Paul and Dianne Manning donated $100 million to UVA for the institute, which will be built on what is now a surface parking lot at Fontaine and next to existing buildings used for biotechnology research. This is part of a master plan adopted by the Board of Visitors in September 2018. 

“The current parking upon which the building will be built will be replaced by new structured parking and the green lawn above the below-grade vivarium helps to form one of the research neighborhoods that was part of the master plan,” Raucher said. 

The new parking garage will be along Fontaine Avenue and will also support other UVA facilities elsewhere in the community with an easily accessible transit stop. 

“This will also enable the parking garage to be used as an intercept location for commuters to the medical center,” Raucher said. 

An overview of the Fontaine Research Park with conceptual locations for the three new buildings planned 

Raucher also sought approval for a new Central Energy Plant which will help UVA meet sustainability goals. 

“The energy plant will be served by geothermal wells which will be drilled underneath surface parking areas and roadways,” Raucher said.

Raucher will come back to the Buildings and Grounds Committee with a schematic plan for the three new buildings in September. 

Yesterday’s newsletter focused on the approval of 525 units on Old Ivy Road on land not controlled by the University of Virginia.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee also learned of a concept design for the expansion of the Center for Politics, which operates out of the historic Montesano building nestled within the Ivy Gardens apartment complex. 

The design would also incorporate a new road that will connect with Leonard Sandridge Drive as part of the overall redevelopment plans for Ivy Gardens. 

“Currently the access to Montesano is via Crestwood Drive which comes off of Old Ivy Road which is a shared road that’s really owned by University Village,” Raucher said. “There is a commitment that when we build this that we would build a new road that connects Montesano to Leonard Sandridge Drive.” 

The Ivy Gardens master plan also features a future central green that would feature the Center for Politics at one end and the Miller Center at another. 

A reminder that UVA does not have to submit any of its plans for review by either Albemarle County or Charlottesville. There is a three-party agreement from 1986 that is intended to govern planning issues. (read the document)

Location maps for the renovation and expansion of Montesano (Credit: University of Virginia Architect)

In other business, they agreed to approve the demolition of a shed at Zehmer that has been used for communications equipment as well as some townhomes at the College of Wise that have been unoccupied since 2013.

The Buildings and Grounds Committee also signed off on new names for several future buildings and amenities. 

  • The new hotel at Darden will be officially named the “Frank M. Sands Sr. and Marjorie R. Sands Hotel at the Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning.” The hotel will be marketed as the Forum Hotel and will be run by Klimpton Hotels and Restaurants. 
  • Several places at the new hotel will be named for the Altec/Styslinger Foundation including a bar and lobby, a bar terrace, a second terrace, and a rooftop terrace. 
  • The new arboretum at Darden will have a bridge that was to have been named after a pair of donors. Now they would like it to be named The Connection Bridge. 
  • Another structural walkway that will span the central pond in the arboretum will be named the Carl Mason Franklin footbridge. 

More from the UVA Board of Visitors in a future installment of Charlottesville Community Engagement. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the March 3, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

3 thoughts on “UVa Buildings and Grounds Committee reviews new buildings at Fontaine Research Center

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: