Bringing commerce to the Lawn

Bringing commerce to the Lawn

The plywood barriers lining UVA’s East Lawn, though pleasantly peppered with chalked poetry and event announcements, nevertheless leave student and visitor passers-by wondering, “What’s going on back there?”

The answer is that Rouss Hall, future home of the McIntire School of Commerce, is getting a major facelift. According to McIntire’s Associate Dean of Administration Jerry Starsia, the $61 million project involves 156,370 square feet of total renovations and additions as well as a complete relocation of Varsity Hall from its previous Lawn-front site to a new spot closer to Hospital Drive.

Starsia says construction should be completed by December 2007, and Rouss will be up and running in time for the spring semester 2008.

The backhoe does its work to get Rouss Hall up to snuff for its scheduled debut in the spring semester 2008.

A key goal of the project is to successfully blend the new structure into such a prominent location on the Lawn, Starsia says: “We want to be complimentary but not overbearing. We’re going to have a building that echoes the traditional feeling of the Lawn, but that has state-of-the-art technology built into it.”

Starsia also says great efforts have been made to “go green.” The new-and-improved Rouss Hall will boast a green roof and additional insulation with the goal of LEED certification, an environmental designation awarded once certain steps toward environmental and energy-efficient design have been taken.

“The whole University is really trying to go green,” Starsia says. “We want to be at the forefront of that.”

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