Skanska USA has been selected to work on the $111.7 million renovation and expansion of the University of Virginia’s historic Alderman Library. Located at 160 McCormick Rd., Charlottesville, VA, the effort to repair and replace many aspects of the existing library is the first major transformation since the library was constructed in 1938.
“The renovation and rebuilding of our main library location is a project of the utmost importance to the students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia,” said University Librarian and Dean of Libraries John Unsworth. “The new building will provide a much safer and healthier environment, and it will have spaces that welcome and inspire its users for generations to come.”
The work will include a complete demolition of the 1967 addition, replacing it with a six-story concrete framed addition of approximately 125,000 square feet. The existing 100,307-square-foot library will also be renovated. The overall goal of the renovations is to adapt the historic building to meet the current and future needs of its users. The new design, by HBRA Architects, will create more open spaces and a stable environment that will be more conducive to the long-term preservation of library collections. The renovations will include:
- renewal of building systems with all new infrastructure,
- an updated and expanded south entrance and a new highly accessible north entrance,
- better utilization of space to improve wayfinding,
- a variety of environments for study, research, and social interaction,
- restoration and optimization of historic characteristics such as the McGregor Room that houses the 11,000 volume collection owned by the Rare Book School,
- a much-improved environment for students and faculty in the humanities and social sciences to work with extensive and growing print collections,
- enhanced facilities for the ongoing conservation and preservation of the print collections,
- exterior and interior concourses connecting the Alderman and Clemons Libraries, and
- ample lighting to enhance the interior and make optimal use of existing light wells.
The building will be completely vacated and all books and collections will be relocated for the entire project duration. Historical elements of the building such as windows, doors, paneling, wood floors, light fixtures, door hardware, etc. will either be removed and restored offsite, or restored in place.
“This project continues our long relationship with the University of Virginia and supports the University’s efforts to enhance the educational experience of its students, faculty and staff,” said Greg Peele, executive vice president responsible for Skanska’s North Carolina and Virginia building operations. “The renovated Alderman Library will offer numerous settings for research, study and socialization with modern amenities in an historic building.”
The renovation and expansion are expected to be completed by end of 2022.