More than a decade after “the last ball in U-Hall,” University Hall is coming down.
In late April, the Board of Visitors Executive Committee approved funding as part of the capital projects plan that will include tearing down the hall, which was home to Cavalier men’s and women’s basketball teams (and other sports, intermittently) for more than 40 years.
The cost of documenting the building, removing asbestos, constructing modular unit facilities to support sports medicine and strength-training functions, and demolishing the building as well as several other nearby structures, is estimated to be between $12 million and $14 million. If the work follows the projected timeline, facility demolition will be completed by 2020.
“The intent [of this plan] is not only to accommodate the vision of the department of athletics and their need for growth, but to make that whole area more pedestrian-oriented and student-focused,” University architect Alice Raucher said. “There are significant safety considerations when pedestrians come in contact with moving vehicles, and that traffic pattern now has pedestrians and students bisecting. So part of the master plan is to come up with a rational set of paths and movement through the site, and a vision for making the area more integrated with Grounds.”
That area includes the numerous athletic facilities, including John Paul Jones Arena, Davenport Field at Disharoon Park, the George Welsh Indoor Football Practice Facility, the McCue Center, Klöckner Stadium and Lannigan Field.
The plan also includes the construction of a new softball stadium at the corner of Massie and Copeley roads, currently the site of a grass practice field (the site for this construction was approved by the BOV in March).
Initially, once treated and cleared, the U-Hall land will be maintained as a grass field, which will likely also be used for additional practice space for athletics teams.