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Aug. 25, 1997

Virginia Selects Heery International, VMDO Architects to Design Football Stadium Expansion

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The University of Virginia Board of Visitors today selected Heery International, Inc. of Atlanta as the project architect and VMDO Architects, PC of Charlottesville the associate architects for the Scott Stadium expansion. Today's selections kick off an aggressive timetable for the project, which will increase seating in the stadium from 44,000 to more than 60,000 by the 2000 season. Plans call for the construction of a new media tower on the stadium's west side by the beginning of the 1998 season and a replacement for Bryant Hall, a dining and locker room facility currently located in the south end zone, by the 1999 season. No games will be disrupted.

The design phase will begin "this afternoon," said Samuel A. "Pete" Anderson III, the University architect. The architects hope to complete a schematic design for the media tower by the end of September and a design for the entire stadium by the end of the year. A ceremonial ground breaking for the media tower is tentatively scheduled to be held during the final home football game of the season on Nov. 24 against Virginia Tech. Actual construction is to start after receiving final General Assembly approval, perhaps as early as February. Although the estimated $50 million cost of the expansion is to be financed through private funds, all University capital projects must be approved by the legislature. Heery's experience in designing similar projects gave it the edge over five finalists interviewed by a University selection committee. Among the firm's previous projects are Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Stadium, now Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves; the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons; and similar football stadium expansion projects at the universities of Texas and Georgia.

Michael A. Holleman, vice president for sports facilities at Heery, will serve as principal in-charge for the project. Robert W. Moje of VMDO Architects is the managing principal.

VMDO has worked with the University on several previous projects, including the design of Kloeckner Stadium, the installation of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium, and the design of Hereford College. Heery will handle the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineering, as well as cost estimating and scheduling. The CEGG Partnership of Virginia Beach will lead the civil engineering and stormwater management; Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect of Charlottesville will handle landscape architecture; and Wilbur Smith & Associates of Columbia, S.C. will consult on traffic and parking considerations. The stadium expansion project, announced at a Board of Visitors meeting June 14, was made possible by a $25 million gift from alumnus Carl W. Smith - the largest cash gift ever given to the University. Of the total, $23 million will be applied toward the Scott Stadium project, while $2 million will go toward the construction of a new stadium at the University of Virginia's Clinch Valley College in Wise County. The matching grant from Smith - founder of the Charlottesville based AMVEST Corp., a former Cavalier football player and a native of Wise County - is expected to fund approximately half of the cost of both projects. When the first game was played in Scott Stadium on Oct. 18, 1931, it had seats for 20,000 fans. The natural grass field was replaced by artificial turf in 1974, and the capacity was increased to 40,000 with the addition of the upper decks in 1980. A permanent lighting system was added in 1982, making night games possible. Bryant Hall opened in 1985. Most recently, David A. Harrison III Field was dedicated in September 1995, replacing the former artificial surface with a new-generation Prescription Athletic Turf system. The project was made possible by a $5 million gift from David A. Harrison III of Hopewell, a former football player and a holder of two University degrees.


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Jeff White

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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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