Charlottesville Breaking News
A tradition as old as the UVA Lawn itself was recently snuffed out, at least temporarily, as University officials announced last week that students living on the Lawn and the Ranges would no longer be able to use their fireplaces.
According to UVA maintenance director Michael Merriam, a consulting firm hired to inspect the 106 chimneys found that they were too unsafe to use. Fearful, perhaps, of a repeat of the 1895 fire that destroyed the Rotunda, and with none of the rooms equipped with sprinkler systems, Merriam says the decision was made to ban fires and seek proposals to repair the fireplaces and chimneys.
In addition to cracks and corrosion in the steel and concrete liners, Merriam says that inspectors found that mortar had fallen out of the chimneys, gaps had opened up in the fire walls of the hearths, and that dampers and flues were faulty. (The damage was detected before the recent earthquake.)
"At a minimum, the chimneys will have to be relined," says Merriam. "But in many cases the chimneys will have to be re-pointed, fireboxes will have to be resealed, and dampers will have to be fixed. It's an extensive amount of work."
Indeed, Merriam estimates that it will cost between $1-3 million to repair the chimneys, depending on the scope of the work. While he says that some proposals have already been received, there's been no decision made yet on what will be done– or whether students will ever be able to use the fir...
In the wake of the Hook's recent cover story Glitchy system: Inside the student software debacle, which examined the County's purchase of a faulty student information system and revealed potential conflicts of interest between school administrators and Schoolnet, the company that supplied the software, school board members have been bombarded with complaints from angry parents.
"We need new leadership for our schools, and we need it now," writes Carmen Garcia, founder of CASE (Citizens of Albemarle Supporting Education), in an email to County School board chair Steve Koleszar. "I hope you'll wake from your peaceful slumber and realize that, as a friend of mine brilliantly reminded me, the emperor has no clothes."
Garcia, who founded her group of County school parents last year in response to the implementation of the controversial 4x4 class schedule, contends that the student information system debacle is another mistake by superintendent Pam Moran.
"We have tried to warn you and the public about the huge conflict of interest we perceived as Dr. Moran's image and words were used to advertise SchoolNet's products," Garcia writes. "Now that the trut...
The June 16 cover story, "Fast track: Western Bypass shifts into overdrive," asserted that the northern terminus would fall between Polo Grounds Road and Forest Lakes South. However, new renderings by Charlottesville Tomorrow suggest that while one piece of the terminus might fall in that zone, the two main lanes will make their connection to U.S. 29 north of the Forest Lakes South entrance.
The September 8 OnArchitecture story, "Mall kiosk surfaces, British Corner invasion, and is the Mall okay?," asserted that Roxie Daisy, a home furnishings store, would open at 101 East Water Street in the fall. The store actually opened on August 1.
The September 8 cover story,"9/11 reflections: 3,000 dead and freedom too," gave the wrong email address for the author, which is actually email@example.com, and the table of contents referred to him as Andy Rhea, instead of his correct name, Adam Rhea.