Piedmont Virginia Community College


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Completed 2016
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
  • 120 acres / Expansive Views
  • Pedestrian Boulevard
  • Separation of Pedestrian and Vehicular Traffic

Transforming a Commuter Campus.

This new master plan for Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) is a bold strategy that will transform a campus divided by a vehicular thoroughfare into one organized around a student-centered pedestrian boulevard.

Situated on 120 acres of rolling land, PVCC first opened in 1973 and is now enrolling over 5,000 students per semester. The college’s goal is to provide the facilities needed for high quality post-secondary education on a dynamic campus that will serve for generations to come. PVCC is a commuter campus, and like all community colleges, places a premium on affordability and accessibility. However, new paradigms in community college campus planning recognize that student engagement and a quality collegiate experience are equally vital to the mission.

Towards this end, the College has committed to a facility planning strategy that will transform the campus plan from one that prioritizes the automobile, to one that offers a student-focused, pedestrian oriented campus experience. Through a collaborative and transparent process, Grimm + Parker facilitated a series of planning exercises to meet the college’s obligations for capital planning while creating a long-term plan that will guide growth and support the development of this new vision for the campus.

Essential to the planning is a strategy for development that brings new buildings online with site planning that accomplishes the incremental re-routing of vehicular movements to the perimeter of campus. Two new capital projects and the renovation of one existing building to relocate central services will achieve the vision. The new, boulevard is scaled to the pedestrian experience and defined by buildings housing college and community functions that will activate it.

The natural beauty of the land on which the campus is situated is an important asset. The campus plan embraces the natural environment which encompasses a mix of meadows, groomed lawns, forests, and ponds, while planning for growth. Current planning anticipates new academic space, student services, and a community partnership with a joint-use facility. The result is a transformative vision that will redefine the College’s presence in the community.