Dear Ayla: Yes, the John Paul Jones arena, which has been under construction for the past three years, is finally set to open in a matter of weeks. This means its venerated predecessor across the street, University Hall, will no longer be home to Virginia basketball games.
To track down this particular answer, Ace went straight to the top dog: Craig Littlepage, UVA’s director of athletics. According to Littlepage, “University Hall will stand for seven years or so. The horizon may be for five to seven years or maybe even longer than that.”
Littlepage pointed out that U-Hall is still home to a number of coaches’ offices and team locker rooms for other sports. In addition, a new sports medicine training facility was added to the area between U-Hall and the Cage not too long ago. But what happens after U-Hall outlives its usefulness?
“We would remove University Hall, the Cage and Onesty Hall and construct a field house,” said Littlepage. “This would be along the lines of a facility that would allow the sports that are field sports, outdoor sports to come inside during inclement weather. It is not a competitive venue, that is, for games or game competition. It’d be for practices, camp programs and other department needs.”
So there you have it, Ayla. While you don’t have to start saying your goodbyes to U-Hall just yet, do get prepared for its eventual demise. But even though U-Hall may be falling by the wayside, Ace assures you that you can still hold on to those memories of red-faced whooping and hollering for the Cavaliers. Nostalgic fans can pick up a book detailing U-Hall’s history which comes out later this year. It’s called Mad About U: Four Decades of Basketball at University Hall, and interested readers can snatch it off the shelves come October.The endearingly bulbous U-Hall—home to many fond basketball and concert memories for Charlottesville old-timers—will stick around “for seven years or so,” according to UVA Director of Athletics Craig Littlepage.
You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 18 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to email@example.com.