The University of Virginia is hoping to relocate its orthopedic services from the Fontaine Research Park as part of its redevelopment of an area along Ivy Road, east of the U.S. 29 and U.S. 250 intersection.
UVa officials presented plans to Charlottesville and Albemarle County leaders at the Planning and Coordination Council meeting on Thursday.
“Orthopedics currently occupies some space at Fontaine Research Park, and enabling that to clear out allows us to start moving and expanding our work at Fontaine and lessening the impact of the automobile around the West Complex and around the Medical Center,” University Architect Alice Raucher said.
UVa’s Board of Visitors recently approved a master plan to redevelop portions of property currently home to the University Police Department and the Charlottesville-University of Virginia-Albemarle Emergency Communications Center, as well as the former Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center. The land is located in Albemarle County.
“It is approximately 23 acres … but there are only certain areas that are developable,” Raucher said.
The current plan is to redevelop the land in phases.
“Phase I will be an orthopedic campus for us, which will actually be a tremendous asset to the community and the region,” said Patrick D. Hogan, the university’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The new three- to four-story orthopedics building would be built on the existing site of the former Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center and include an attached parking garage. There also would be garden trails on the property and a bioremediation area.
We’re able to have a relatively large-size building and lessen the impact both on the community above at Poplar Glen, as well as Ivy Road.
University Architect Alice Raucher
Future phases would involve the redevelopment of the land currently housing the police department and Emergency Communications Center, as well as the site of what used to be a motel known as the Commonwealth Motor Court. The uses for these phases are yet to be determined, but the university has envisioned two- to three-story buildings at both of these sites.
While discussing the vision for the orthopedics center, Raucher said the university would like to make use of the rise in elevation across the property from its lower end on Ivy Road to limit the visual impacts.
“What this does is allow us to build into the site so that we lessen the impact of a tall building on Ivy Road,” Raucher said. “We’re able to have a relatively large-size building and lessen the impact both on the community above at Poplar Glen, as well as Ivy Road.”
City Councilor Kathy Galvin noted the garden space in the master plan.
“Will surrounding residents and businesses have access to the garden? Is it like a public park?” Galvin asked.
“I wouldn’t call it a public park, but there will be walking trails,” Raucher said, agreeing with Galvin that accessibility would be similar to the Lawn and pavilion gardens at UVa. “It certainly will be the orthopedics campus.”
Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Diantha McKeel said it would be important to make sure pedestrian access is connected with a county sidewalk project along Ivy Road. The county is currently planning to build a 0.34-mile sidewalk from the intersection of Ivy Road and Stillfried Lane to an existing sidewalk near the intersection of Ivy Road and Old Ivy Road.
“We’ll want to make sure it’s all coordinated,” McKeel said.
The university’s plan also calls for a new traffic signal at the intersection of Ivy Road and Stillfried Lane.
Interim County Executive Doug Walker praised the university, city and county’s joint support of the Emergency Communications Center and said he hopes a new location will be found for it.
“That’s not part of Phase I, so we’ve got time,” Hogan said.
In terms of a timeline for the first phase, Raucher said the university hopes to hire an architect in June and start schematic design in the fall.
Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said he is working on plans for a one-day conference in the fall related to autonomous technology that would include panels and driverless car demonstrations. This may include partnerships with the UVa provost’s office, the governor’s office and the private sector.
“It’s a really interesting question for a lot of policy and academic reasons, what [autonomous technology] is going to mean for city planning, for technology, for safety, for parking ratios,” Signer said. “It’s really going to impact a lot of how we live.”
The details of the conference are yet to be finalized.