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Sept. 15, 1998

A year after launching a fund-raising campaign to support the expansion of its football stadium, the University of Virginia has reached a significant milestone in the effort.

With $11 million in commitments in hand, the University has passed the halfway mark toward its $20 million goal for the Scott Stadium expansion. The funds, combined with other athletics revenues, will match a $23 million challenge gift made last year by Carl W. Smith, founder of the Charlottesville-based AMVEST Corp. and a former Virginia football player. These gifts will represent the core funding for the $70 million project, which will increase the stadium’s capacity from 44,000 to 60,000 spectators.

The campaign’s progress was announced Friday at a ceremony held at Carl Smith Center, an area that encompasses Scott Stadium and the nearby Aquatics and Fitness Center. The event marked the end of the campaign’s behind-the-scenes phase and the beginning of a broader appeal to alumni and friends of the University to support the project.

“Since last fall, we have gone quietly to people who have the capability of making leadership gifts, and they have responded generously,” said Terry Holland, the University’s director of athletics. “Most of the donors we approach agree that we need to seek excellence at Virginia in every area, and they recognize that this is a project that helps football and the entire athletics program to reach that goal.”

The stadium campaign is part of the Campaign for the University of Virginia, an effort to raise $1 billion by the end of the year 2000. Since the campaign began in July 1993, donors have provided more than $745 million in gifts, pledges, bequests, and other commitments. Of this amount, $74 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $100 million goal for athletics.

Work on the stadium project began earlier this year with the regrading of the Hill, a grassy area behind the north end zone that is popular with students. Above the Hill, a new scoreboard and computerized video screen have been installed.

At the end of this season, work will begin on the south end zone, where new stands will be added. Bryant Hall, a locker room facility that occupies the site, will be replaced with a new Bryant

Hall offering twice the locker room and support space now available. The new stands and upper decks will include more than 40 luxury suites, which can be leased for $50,000 a year. Half of the suites already have been reserved.

The project, which includes construction of a colonnade and plaza at the north end of the stadium and a 600-car parking facility on the south end, is scheduled for completion at the end of the year 2000.

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