University to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Student Center
Release Date: 04-26-2005
The University of Vermont will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Dudley H. Davis Center, the university’s new student center, on Saturday, April 30, at 11:00 a.m. The building is expected to open in September 2007.
“The Davis Center will provide the hub our campus lacks and serve as a front door to the university and to Burlington,” said Daniel Mark Fogel, UVM president. “It will connect the residential and academic districts of our campus; offer amenities and services students have said they wanted; and be a vital center of activity for students, staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the greater Burlington community.”
The building is named for the late Dudley H. Davis ('43), whose family announced a $4.66 million contribution to the project just days before his death last November. To date, the Davis family and friends of Dudley Davis have contributed more than $6 million toward a $7 million commitment to name the facility. An additional $1 million gift to get the project started came from UVM alumnus James Higgins ('96), his wife Diana, parents Bill and Judy Higgins, and their family foundation, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Foundation.
The groundbreaking will take place on the grassy area on the north side of Main Street, between 590 Main Street and UVM’s Parking and Transportation building at 622 Main Street.
Speakers at the event will include President Daniel Mark Fogel; Chuck and Jeff Davis, Dudley H. Davis’s sons; Governor James H. Douglas; Burlington Mayor Peter Clavelle; Bryant Jones, outgoing president of the UVM Student Government Association; James Condos, chair of the South Burlington City Council; former UVM president Edwin Colodny; and Martha Heath, interim chair of the UVM board of trustees.
The 221,000+ square foot building is planned to be built in two phases, UVM officials said. The first construction phase, now under way, will comprise 186,000 sq. ft. of space and will house the majority of the building functions, including the bistro; several lounges, computer labs, and recreation areas; the dining area; retail food outlets; the bookstore; offices for student organizations; meeting rooms; and a banquet/multi-purpose room.
The 35,000 sq. ft. second phase of the building will be a 600-seat theater. Fogel said that the university decided to phase the project, deferring construction of the theater in order to keep project costs in line with projected revenues, operating costs, and debt structure for the building.
Fogel emphasized that, while the theater will be a significant facility for the university and the community, the phase one construction in and of itself will be transformational for the University of Vermont and the surrounding communities and that it is central to the vision for UVM.