The Lloyd Building on the Corner, which was most recently the Student Bookstore, will soon be transformed into a space for student meetings, rehearsals, socializing and more. The new layout and utility of the building has been heavily student-designed, and is expected to open in the fall.
J. Marshall Pattie, an Associate Dean of Students in charge of Newcomb Centers and Services, said that a main reason the University wants to utilize the space is because of increasing shortage of space on Grounds for student activities.
“As the number of student organizations and student activities we are challenged at being able to afford space for those organizations to hold those activities, so this presents us with an opportunity to create more space for more groups, particularly performance groups for their actual performances as well as for rehearsals,” he said.
The location of the Lloyd building also gives the University opportunity to take advantage of a Charlottesville area that is popular with students and also near Grounds.
“So really what is surrounding it is twofold: one, just the shortage of space and being able to increase that space, but two, being able to leverage space that is in a big popular, if you will, social area. It is in prime location for us to be able to work with student leaders for late night programs, for social programs in a space that is already frequented by students at night,” Pattie said.
The layout of the building will be different from any other building already around Grounds. Pattie said that the first level, there will be stages and potentially an area offering food and drinks. The lower level would resemble a sports lounge with pool tables, games and television. On the third level, there would be meeting space and rehearsal space, and potentially space for career advising.
Pattie envisions a space that will be a meeting space during the day and more social at night.
“You could have live performances like bands, comedians, vocalists, step shows and so forth that would really be a draw for students to be able to come in and it would be an inclusive environment as well as a safe environment for students and of course it would be an alcohol-free environment as well,” he said.
The design of the space has included input from students. The University asked 25 students in the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership for ideas and proposals for the building.
Brittany Hsieh, a third year student in the College of Arts and Sciences has also helped design the space. She became involved while taking a sustainability class that required a long-term project about sustainability at UVA.
“Social sustainability was the focus of my project because a major issue faced by the University is a lack of space off-Grounds that is unrelated to alcohol, food and retail, or residence,” Hsieh said.
She also works in Newcomb Hall under Pattie, so when she heard him describing the Lloyd Project, she shared her ideas with him that she had developed during her class. Then, she was invited to future meetings to provide insight on the project.
Hsieh envisions a space that will promote multiculturalism and sustainability. “I would like for the building to promote a zero-waste mentality by implementing colocation, which is when you put glass and paper recycling, composting, and trash next to each other so that people can easily choose to recycle or compost. We’ve talked about different ways to incorporated multiculturalism by rotating vendors for food or hosting programs throughout the year,” she said.
“We want the space to embody aspects of Charlottesville rather than the institutional feel of the University,” Hsieh added.