UVA Darden, Construction Partners Celebrate Key Milestone in Construction of New Inn and Conference Center

16 December 2021

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business, alongside its construction partners, recently celebrated the “topping out” of the UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning. This milestone was reached through the completion of the roof over the five-story residence wing of the inn.

The inn and conference center facilities will be complete in spring 2023.

To celebrate the occasion, leaders from the Darden School, Darden School Foundation, W.M. Jordan Co., Matthews Development Co. and Carr Cos. held an event for the more than 250 workers building the new inn and conference center. To permanently recognize workers’ contributions, members of the Darden community and construction and consulting partners on the project signed and decorated an orange-painted steel beam that was placed on the residence wing roof to honor all involved with the project.

“I don’t think we could have envisioned a better start to the project,” Darden Dean Scott Beardsley said during the celebration event, noting the exemplary safety record and pace of construction. “We’re honored that your work, and if you signed the beam, your names, will always be a part of this project.”

The UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning will serve as an inspiring destination, offering an outstanding hospitality, education and conference experience to alumni, students and guests visiting Darden, UVA or the Charlottesville area. It will provide an essential hub and lodging location for Darden Executive Education & Lifelong Learning (EELL) participants, prospective students visiting Grounds, Executive MBA and Master of Science in business analytics students completing academic residencies in Charlottesville, and the broader UVA and Charlottesville communities.

EELL CEO and Chief Learning Officer of Darden Ashley Williams said EELL will be “proud to call the new Darden Inn and Conference Center our home,” and thanked workers for their hard work and dedication. The new project will be a gathering place that fosters collaboration and community, Williams said.

The new facilities, which will seek the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, will feature 199 hotel rooms, a conference center, flat and tiered classroom space, a restaurant, pub and coffee shop, among other features.

Adjacent to the inn and conference center are the beautifully designed arboretum and botanical gardens. These scenic outdoor spaces will create greater connection across UVA’s North Grounds, where Darden Grounds are located, and provide areas for meetings or quiet contemplation.

“This team has worked incredibly well together in a very challenging construction environment to reach this milestone,” said Michael Matthews of Matthews Development Co., Darden’s project manager. “We celebrate them today and say thank you for their contributions to this visionary project at the UVA Darden School.”

“Big, hard, complex projects are built successfully with great collaboration from all involved,” said Clint Patman, project superintendent with W.M. Jordan Co.

The inn and conference center is part of Darden’s Grounds Master Plan, one of the four priorities of the Powered by Purpose campaign. The Darden School seeks additional philanthropy to help drive completion of the inn and conference center, arboretum and botanical gardens, and renovation of the adjacent C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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