VCU has two more dorms on deck

VCU’s 500 Academic Centre, which used to be a Ukrop’s, will make way for housing. (Photo by Burl Rolett)

VCU’s 500 Academic Centre, which used to be a Ukrop’s, will make way for housing. (Photo by Burl Rolett)

Virginia Commonwealth University’s construction binge continues.

The school’s board of visitors last week approved the issuance of $41 million in bonds to pay for two new dormitory buildings at the corners of Grace and Harrison streets and Ryland and Broad streets.

Totaling 160,000 square feet, the two five-story buildings will add 426 beds, pushing VCU’s on-campus housing capacity to almost 6,000 students as total enrollment hovers around 31,000.

“We’re catching up to the demand for upper-class housing,” said Brian Ohlinger, VCU’s associate vice president for facilities management. “Typically about 85 percent of freshmen want to live on campus, and that reflects just over 3,000 beds, so that leaves us only 3,000 beds for sophomores, juniors and seniors.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2014, with the dormitories to be completed in August 2015. Construction costs will run about $36.4 million, Ohlinger said. W.M. Jordan will be the contractor for the two buildings, and Clark-Nexsen Architects have the design contract for the job. The Times-Dispatch first reported plans for the new dormitories.

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