Renovations and additions coming to UVA Center for Politics

The University of Virginia Center for Politics is headquartered within a 4,700 square foot house called Montesanto that’s located between Old Ivy Road and Leonard Sandridge Drive in the area known as North Grounds.

Earlier this month, the Architect of the University of Virginia briefed the Buildings and Grounds Committee on some upcoming work  

“While the Center for Politics has been very successful in developing and running its extensive roster of programs, the size and layout of the existing house hampers the Center’s daily operations and prevents them from fully engaging students and community in hosting larger seminars and events,” said Alice Raucher. 

The existing site is accessed via Crestwood Drive, but the schematic design shows a new road connection to Leonard Sandridge Drive. 

The new design shows construction of a new 5,000 square foot addition to the house that will include space for a library, a common area, and a seminar room along with a new connecting building known as a hyphen.

“The project includes modest renovations to the main house including converting the first floor conference room to a collaboration hub and combining small rooms on the second floor into an open office space,” Raucher said. “The addition will also provide space for a memorabilia archive and a media studio and green room.” 

Construction documents are expected to be ready in the spring with the work to be complete in the summer of 2025. The Buildings and Grounds voted on a resolution to expedite the work. 

One member of the committee mentioned that the Virginia Department of Transportation is currently conducting a “pipeline study” of potential road improvements in the Old Ivy Road and U.S. 250 west corridor. 

“One of the big issues there is going to be how do the people, between the two, many of whom are UVA employees, get out of there,” said the member. “I think the connection between Old Ivy Road and Leonard Sandridge Parkway is going to be really important.”

Raucher said Crestwood Drive is currently a private road that there’s an agreement in place for Montesento only and not for through access. The University will one day redevelop the Ivy Gardens apartment complex to the east of the Center for Politics. 

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