UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA                                                                                                          GROUNDS PLAN                                                                                                          OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT




University of Virginia Foundation

Based on the experience of a number of colleges and universities which have affiliated foundations performing real estate activities, the University of Virginia Foundation (UVAF) was incorporated in 1986.  The primary function and responsibility of the Foundation is acquiring, developing, and managing real property, or interests in real property and related assets, for the benefit of the University.  To this end, prospective land acquisitions are undertaken by the Foundation to accommodate future academic, institutional and housing requirements and to promote the growth of the University’s research and related activities.  The Foundation also undertakes the acquisition and development of property adjacent to the University Grounds to insure that development is in harmony and compatible with the University’s academic setting and its stature as an historic and cultural landmark.

UVa. Field Stations and Foundation Properties in the Charlottesville Vicinity

The Foundation acquires real estate in a variety of ways--by purchase, by transfer from the University and other grantors affiliated with the University, and through gifts to it from outside donors.  The Foundation provides administrative and investment services to other University-related foundations, and is the parent corporation to the University of Virginia Research Parks, Boar’s Head Inn, Birdwood Golf Course, Morven Farms and the Cavalier Inn.

College at Wise
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, formerly Clinch Valley College, is the sole branch of the University of Virginia.  Founded by UVa in 1954 as a two-year junior college. the school began to grant four-year baccalaureate degrees in 1970.  Situated on 367 acres in Wise County, Virginia, UVA-Wise is a great example of the leadership provided by the Southwest Virginia region and its Appalachian heritage.  Before the College was created, there were no public colleges in this portion of Virginia, and the College continues to honor its commitment of service to Southwest Virginia.  The College offers 25 majors and an enrollment of over 2,000 students.  UVa-Wise is undergoing rapid growth, with several new buildings and campus beautification projects underway. The College Board has expressed the desire to see the college grow to between 3,000 and 3,500 students by 2015.  The Campus Plan for the College was developed by the Office of the University Architect and approved by the Board of Visitors in 2006.

Aerial View, College at Wise
College at Wise


Field Stations
UVA is fortunate to have four field stations within Virginia, providing a diverse array of research, public service opportunities and environs.  A summary of the stations, their focus and facilities is provided for reference.

Field Station Locations Around Virginia

Blandy Experimental Farm (BEF) is a 700-acre University of Virginia research facility situated in the northern Shenandoah Valley, west of Washington, D.C., and home of the State Arboretum of Virginia.  Founded in 1926, this Environmental Sciences Department field station’s mission is to increase understanding of the natural environment through education and research on plants, plant biology, ecology and evolution.  Blandy’s research program, arboretum, and K-12 programs run year-round, and the facility is particularly important as an educational outreach center for northern Virginia.  The arboretum’s collections and exhibits include more than half the world’s pine species, the Boxwood Memorial Garden, a spectacular grove of more than 300 ginkgo trees, an herb garden featuring culinary, medicinal and ornamental herbs, and the Virginia Native Plant Trail.

Blandy Experimental Farm

The Mountain Lake Biological Station (MLBS) is a field research and teaching facility located in the deciduous hardwood forest of the Appalachian Mountains in southwestern Virginia.  Founded in 1929, it is the field station of the Biology Department and provides a diverse array of natural environments, local educational outreach opportunities and two modern laboratories.  The 642-acre site includes residences used by researchers and students of biology and environmental science for research and course opportunities throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons.  A full-service dining hall operates in support of the station during the summer. 

Mountain Lake Biological Station

The Fan Mountain Observatory, 15 miles south of Charlottesville, was established in the mid-1960s as a new, dark site for the UVA Astronomy Department, and is also affiliated with Norfolk State University.  The  273-acre Observatory site was used extensively for research up until the late 1980s.  In recent years, extensive hardware upgrades and instrumentation efforts have transformed the observatory into a modern research facility, currently capable of optical and infrared imaging and spectroscopy.

Fan Mountain Observatory

The Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center of the University of Virginia (ABCRC) is located in southeast Virginia along the Eastern Shore.  Founded in 1987, it is a field station of the Environmental Sciences Department, providing laboratory and residential facilities to researchers from various institutions and agencies.  Field station personnel maintain the site, conduct collaborative research with other PI’s, collect data from meteorological stations, tide gauges, well transects and water level recorders, and host a fleet of four boats to provide logistics to the VCR barrier islands, mainland creeks and seaside ports.  The station runs year-round and also hosts a local outreach program.


THROUGH the program model, and incorporating the findings of collaborative workshops, the Grounds Plan identifies the development required by future academic, housing and recreational needs and the opportunities such development provides. These opportunities create multi-use spaces and improve connectivity and spatial coherence through adding green space, reconfiguring roads, linking walkways, and designing a stronger entry experience to the University. In this way, the Grounds Plan provides for an increasingly sustainable University environment, one that will fulfill and extend Jefferson’s vision through all the University’s precincts.

Although the centrality of the principle of sustainable growth distinguishes this Grounds Plan from recent campus plans, the implementation of several of the projects set forth in these earlier plans offers excellent models of sustainably managed growth, benefiting the University and its surrounding community while serving specific programmatic needs. The case studies in section 4 demonstrate the progress that has been achieved and methods of proven success that can be employed in implementing this Plan’s objectives.