Nov. 18, 2021
Arts and Innovation Academic Building would transform the student experience
Members of the House of Delegates Appropriations Committee visit campus to learn about a proposed facility that would enable arts and other disciplines to meet and tackle the world’s toughest problems.
Share this story
A proposed new building would bring together Virginia Commonwealth University’s prominent arts and innovation programs under one roof, creating a dynamic space where students could learn to harness their abilities and prepare for a world of new and emerging industries.
The planned Arts and Innovation Academic Building would be located at the southeast corner of Broad and Belvidere streets, across from the Institute for Contemporary Art and steps away from Fortune 500 companies and local startups. The new facility would help to strengthen rapidly growing partnerships across arts, business, humanities and sciences, medicine and engineering at VCU.
“VCUarts has a long history of collaboration — not only with the university and the city of Richmond, but also in a range of national and international contexts,” said Carmenita Higginbotham, Ph.D., dean of the VCU School of the Arts. “The Arts and Innovation Academic Building will bring students, faculty, creators and innovators together to engage in transformative academic and professional experiences.”
On Wednesday, members of the Appropriations Committee in Virginia’s House of Delegates visited the site of the proposed building and learned about what it would bring to VCU, Richmond and Virginia. VCU has requested funding from the state for the project.
“VCU was given the unique opportunity to make the case for funding our top capital request,” said Matthew Conrad, vice president for government and external relations at VCU. “When funded, this building will be transformative for our students, who are at the heart of our mission, and will serve as an anchor in Richmond’s Arts District on one of the most important intersections in the city.”
In addition to serving the academic mission of the university, the space would serve as a hub for critical digital and creative economy initiatives both on campus and in the city, while providing an invaluable outlet that allows students to collaborate on a range of projects with companies and other organizations. With its location at one of the busiest intersections in Richmond, the Arts and Innovation Academic Building would further solidify VCU’s role as an anchor for Richmond’s vibrant Arts District along Broad Street.
The project, which is part of VCU’s Six-Year Capital Plan, is currently in the schematic design phase. VCU is authorized to submit a preliminary design to the state with the hope that the facility will be presented to the General Assembly for full construction funding approval. William Rawn Associates is serving as the architect of record. The project’s timeline would depend on funding approval.
Subscribe to VCU News
Subscribe to VCU News at newsletter.vcu.edu and receive a selection of stories, videos, photos, news clips and event listings in your inbox.