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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)


CHARLOTTESVILLE - The University of Virginia Board of Visitors moved forward Friday with a decision to demolish University Hall.

Along with Onesty Hall, The Cage and the Sports Medicine complex, U-Hall has been slated for removal since March. The board's executive committee approved adding the project to the university's capital plan, allowing for further investment and redevelopment of the athletics area in the future.

"As you know, we have an asbestos issue in University Hall," said Colette Sheehy, senior vice president for operations. "And as [the university architect] and [athletics director] looked at our overall master planning, there was a desire to demolish these buildings."

U-Hall, built in 1965, hosted the Cavaliers' basketball program, theater productions and concerts until the John Paul Jones Arena opened in 2006.

But demolition isn't one and done; U-Hall contains asbestos, which must be safely removed. The committee approved the timeline recommended by Sheehy, in which asbestos will be removed from the building this summer and all of the structures will come down by summer 2019.

In the future, officials have said, the entire "athletics precinct" - which is bounded by Emmet Street, Copeley Road, Massie Road and the railroad - could be redeveloped.

In the interim, Sheehy said, most of the employees currently working in the buildings will be housed in temporary structures, including double-wide trailers.

The total cost of demolition and temporary structures is expected to be $12 million to $14 million. Demolition must still be approved by Virginia's Art and Architectural Review Board and Department of Historic Resources.

The entire 2018 capital plan will be presented to the full board for approval in June.

The committee also approved a 3 percent increase in tuition for in state and out-of-state students at UVa's College at Wise. After discussion, the board decided to hold housing rates at Wise flat, in an effort to encourage more on-campus student living.

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April 30, 2018


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