Demolition begins at Sentara site
September 7, 2007
This Tuesday, demolition teams began work on the former Sentara Community Hospital, which is being torn down to make space for a new School of Education building.
p. The College has been working on plans to buy the Monticello Avenue property since 2005 and anticipates that construction on the new School of Education facility will be completed in 2010.
Currently, the School of Education operates out of Jones Hall, a building with only a quarter of the amount of space deemed necessary to accommodate all of the school’s programs and faculty.
p. According to several press releases, the cost to renovate the old hospital is similar to the cost of constructing an entirely new building. In fact, studies commissioned by the College to investigate the issue of whether to renovate or to rebuild say that it would take six months longer to renovate the hospital than it would to rebuild. Demolition of the hospital should be finished in November and construction of the new building is planned to begin in 2008.
p. “The future $48-million facility will allow the school to expand its outreach programs in the region and enable all of the school’s classes, programs and faculty to work together under one roof,” Brian Whitson, the College’s director of news services, said.
Many programs stand to benefit from the larger facility, but the school’s Center for Gifted Education in particular has had to make do with insufficient space to operate their programs. The center offers two summer programs that cater to teachers as well as a summer enrichment program that is attended by hundreds of children. According to a 2006 press release, these summer programs will benefit from additional classroom space.
p. The new School of Education building will be designed by Sasaki Associates, Inc., a firm that has already designed several other buildings for the College. The new building will be 109,000 square feet.
p. Whitson says that the College does not expect demolition of the former hospital to interfere with student parking on Monticello Avenue.