The University of Richmond (UR) recently dedicated the “new” 56,000 sq. ft., $26.5 million Queally Center for Admissions and Career Services as a front door and leading edge for the University. While the Queally Center itself is new, the preparations for this building began decades ago during master planning of the site which contained a ravine as well as a significant stream traversing the site. Draper Aden Associates (DAA) began assisting UR to plan for a future development on this site in the early 2000s, master planning for road improvements and storm sewer necessary to utilize the location for expansion.
The challenge was designing preliminary infrastructure that would support future development that had yet to be conceived. We permitted the stream impact and designed a culvert necessary to start backfilling the site to support future development. Think of it as an incredibly important game of dominos using building and engineering elements instead of toy tiles. This was the first step that all the rest depended upon.
Over the course of these 10+ years, DAA worked with UR staff to confirm decisions made on each individual project ensured the future work was accommodated as planned. While you can’t always predict each element to be introduced in the future, forethought is key in order to reconcile potential opportunities and ideas without having to redo prior work.
The initial work allowed a series of additional campus projects to proceed:
- Construction of a new football stadium,
- Construction of the TC Williams School of Law Parking Lot,
- Construction of the Carole Weintstein International Center,
- Construction of the Queally Hall addition to the Robins School of Business,
- Three phases of campus road construction, as well as
- Construction of two (2) new South Campus Student housing projects.
All projects selectively imported materials and coordinated the placement necessary to allow the future construction of the Queally Center for Admissions and Career Services on the site, which was completed in 2016. We are proud to have played a key role in each of these projects through design work and additional services.
The beginning seems like the simple part of the overall process but getting it right at the foundation is important and may involve looking at 10+ years of yet to be determined development. The beginning is the basis for everything that comes after.