Renovation of Alderman Library at UVA nearing completion 

The beginning of any Charlottesville Planning Commission meeting is a chance to learn more about what’s happening in the built environment through reports from Commissioners. 

At the November 14 meeting, Bill Palmer in the University of Virginia’s Office of the Architect said he did not have a big report and that the next meeting of the Board of Visitors is not until December. He did have a few updates.

“The main library is nearing completion and got its temporary occupancy permit which is a big milestone so they can start occupying the building and bringing stuff in like books and stuff like that,” Palmer said. 

Palmer said April is the estimated time for completion.. According to the UVA Library website, the space will open to the public on January 2, 2023 though books will continue to be stocked throughout the spring. There is a grand opening scheduled for April 4, 2024.

“A new entrance makes the building easily reachable from the growing northern corridor along University Avenue, and a larger south entrance makes the space easier to access from Grounds,” reads the website. “The building offers better layout and natural light, including  in two new study courts, for members of the University community as they study, research, and socialize.”

Three image of Alderman Library from the UVA Library website (Credit: University of Virginia)

Palmer also had an update on a project built on the banks of the Dell.

“Contemplative Commons which is also over that way is nearing completion,” Palmer said. “I don’t know the exact date on that, but winter and spring of 2024.”

Contemplative Commons is a 57,000 square foot four-story academic building designed by VMDO.

“The goal of this new facility and program is to enable student flourishing through transformative deep learning, innovative collaborations across multiple schools, the integration of learning and research to constitute a living laboratory, immersive engagement, and integration with nature,” reads the project’s website on the UVA Facilities Management page.

The second student residential building in the Brandon Avenue corridor is also under construction with another 300 beds and should be ready for students to move in fall 2024. The two wings will be named Gaston House and Ramazani House to reflect the names of two late professors. (read my story) (read the C-Ville Weekly version)

Turning to the Ivy Corridor, the School of Data Science is almost complete but other projects will soon get underway. These are the Hotel and Conference Center has broken ground and the Karsh Institute of Democracy is still in design. 

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 November 15, 2023 edition.

To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Leave a Reply