The Corner has a long-standing reputation for its wild bar scene, but soon that reputation may change. 1515 University Ave. is currently undergoing drastic renovations in order to create a recreational drug space for students to be opened by the upcoming semester.
The venue will serve as a refuge for students who don’t wish to partake in the rigorous alcohol-fueled activities that pervade the Corner Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The space, pioneered by students, will host a slew of activities and serve a number of purposes including a lounge, a stage for performances, a sketchy bathroom for doing lines, and a Keurig. UVA’s Deputy Spokesperson Matt Charles tells The Black Sheep:
“You know, I really let the students run with this one. When they approached me and told me they felt underrepresented on the Corner, a place vital to social-life here at the university, I complied with their wishes,” Charles stated. “Students can come here to play foosball, share slam poetry, shoot the shit or maybe just shoot up. I don’t judge. There will be lots of comfortable places to sit, plenty of snacks and non-alcoholic drinks to quell munchies, and Connect Four. Everyone loves that game.”
1515’s top floor is dedicated to zen activities along the lines of yoga, meditation and quiet repose, and will share space with an addictions counselor. This floor was originally set to include advising space, but Clem 2 has that covered now.
The university is partnering with several architectural firms in designing the space, as well as Charlottesville’s top HVAC specialists to ensure the building is well-ventilated. UVA and the surrounding community wish to create a safe space for students to express themselves without the harmful consequences of alcohol.
The job was set to be completed by the Fall 2016 semester, but the crew, the same one that worked on the restoration of the Rotunda, was unsurprisingly not finished by its target date.
James Zehmer, university historic preservation project manager, explained to us the trials of restoring a building as old as 1515:
“The building itself was originally a crack house in 1896.”
He went on to say that while the dimensions of a crackhouse are conducive to the new recreational space, the university doesn’t wish to promote the use of any specific drugs.
“We don’t mind the actual use of illicit drugs, we just feel we don’t want to put people into any boxes and tell them what to take.”