The Reign is over…farewell to Balz, Dobie, & Watson

A Glimpse into the Future of the UVa First-Year Experience

A Glimpse into the Future of the UVa First-Year Experience

Where are all my Wahoos who lived in Balz or Dobie first-year? I’m one of them…a proud man of my BALZ (the jokes never stop). Anyone who has been around the first-year dorms area within the last 2 months is privy to the fact that the dorms in that area are being reconstructed to reflect more modern college dormitory styles.

UVA has already implemented the modernization at Cauthen, Woody, and Kellogg dorms and if you haven’t seen Kellogg (the newest dorm) it looks like a fancy hotel; 5-star dormitory if you will.

The new residence halls will have air conditioning, laundry facilities, vending machines, lounges and study rooms on each floor, several meeting rooms and a large gathering area with a modest kitchen area on the first floor, two elevators, electronic door access [card key] and other amenities, said Rich Kovatch, UVa’s associate vice president for business operations.

The plan which is known as “Alderman Road Residence Area Phase II” calls for the area where Balz once stood to be converted into some green pastures an open area where students can lounge and relax. The sites of the former Dobie and Watson will serve as the location for two new dorms that will be connected by a student activities center.

Quick history on the dorms; they’ve been standing for 43 years, and between the three dorms 432 students and 24 resident staff members were provided housing. Does that mean admissions had to cut down on accepted students because of available space?

Over the next two academic years, the university will house some of the students displaced by the construction in Kellogg House…. Other first-year students may be housed in a converted upperclassman housing area, as well as in residential colleges, Kovatch said.”

Future plans call for the new dorms to be completed in Fall of 2011 and after that’s complete Maupin and Webb are coming down next and should be done in 2013. I’ve got to say…UVA is going to have some crazy first-year housing by 2020.  And for the record…COPELEY and FAULKNER could use some renovations too, just saying!

More information about the project is available at UVa’s Housing website here.

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3 Responses to The Reign is over…farewell to Balz, Dobie, & Watson

  1. Dagmar says:

    I think that it is interesting that UVa chose to renovate the Alderman Road dorms when the McCormick Road dorms have been in use for a decade longer than Alderman. They are by far in more need of any renovations. Furthermore, seeing that both areas house the same number of students it couldn’t be that the university wanted to increasing the housing capacity in a low residency area. Could it be that the majority of students that come to this University as legacies want to live in the dorms where their parents and grandparents lived, in McCormick road dorms? It is well known that the University faces opposition anytime they tear down a building. For example, New Cabell Hall was supposed to be torn down and replaced but they received so many complaints and threats from alumni that the South Lawn project was moved to a new location and New Cabell was slated to receive renovations to individual rooms instead. Did the University fear losing gifts from large numbers of alumni who stayed in McCormick dorms and are fiercely dedicated to preserving their University experience? Did old dorms out bid and out complain new dorms?

  2. frediebou says:

    I would just like to point out that, as a student living in upperclassmen housing, I did not appreciate the Housing Division’s email telling me that my dorm was being converted into a first-year dorm and that I had been moved to another available spot on campus. Most importantly, I really didn’t appreciate the fact that they gave us a week to get out of our contracts because if you live in Cville, well you know that’s probably not enough time to find a decent apartment, and if you just don’t happen to be on campus for that specific week, there’s no way in hell that you can find that apartment, so Housing pretty much screwed us over because you have no other choice but to silently accept your new assignment and to live amongst first years.

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