DPR Breaks Ground on Historic Restoration and Expansion Project at the University of Virginia

University of Virginia (UVA) stakeholders and faculty joined together as DPR Construction broke ground on the expansion project for UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce. The celebration included site tours to view demolition and historic preservation efforts as well as a ceremony that featured remarks from university leaders, including UVA President Jim Ryan and the primary donor, Chris Shumway.

UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce exterior in progress view. Building is standing, yellow crane and construction site surrounding building.
The historic renovation of Cobb Hall is underway, which will provide students with new classrooms, a full production studio and double height solarium offering highly innovative spaces. Simultaneously, underground utilities and the tunnel are being installed, while site work is underway for the new Shumway Hall. Photo: Sara Nicholas

Located between the bustling Grounds of UVA’s academic campus and the University of Virginia Health System, the McIntire Expansion Project provides 95,000-sq.-ft. of new collaborative spaces to the UVA community. DPR’s work includes the preservation and renovation of an approximately 22,000-sq.-ft., four-story wing of the 1917 Cobb Hall as well as a new five-story, 74,200-sq.-ft. free-standing facility, Shumway Hall, that marries traditional and contemporary architecture. Designed by RAMSA and Glavé & Holmes Architecture, the project is scheduled to be completed in April 2025 and will include flex classrooms, innovation labs, and a student success center to encourage cross-disciplinary intersections and collaborations across Grounds.

Following the interior deconstruction of historic Cobb Hall in August of 2022, DPR’s Field Technology Group completed laser scanning of the structure. DPR’s Virtual Design & Construction (VDC) team is coordinating with the design team to capture discrepancies between the existing conditions and the design documents.

"The DPR team is working hard to resolve the challenges that come with working in the 1917 Cobb Hall building through model coordination, strategic logistics planning, and open communication and collaboration with trade partners, the design team, and the University,” said Joanna Colon, UVA Alumna and DPR’s senior project engineer. “Site work and utilities are progressing at a rapid pace for the new underground tunnel connecting the two structures and Shumway Hall. The DPR team is maintaining the schedule with the ongoing site activities and avoiding lead time issues and cost escalation with early submittal review and procurement.”

DPR’s abatement, demolition, and exterior restoration work will be followed by underpinning and interior foundations which will be completed in October 2022. Foundation construction for Shumway Hall will begin in January 2023.

Due to the logistically challenging nature of the site and the importance of student and faculty safety, DPR is taking great care to coordinate material deliveries, student/university services access to adjacent buildings, and extensive utility rerouting with university shutdowns.

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