Topping off ceremony
Biocomplexity Institute News

“Topping Off” Ceremony Marks Construction Milestone for New Biocomplexity Institute Home

With a four-story, stately steel frame in the foreground, construction workers hoisted and placed the final steel beam atop the structure at Town Center Four at the University of Virginia Research Park, the future home of the Biocomplexity Institute. The “topping off” ceremony, which took place in late May, marked the completion of the building’s structural phase, a major milestone toward the Institute making its permanent home there in spring 2020.

Before the last steel beam was put in place, known in the construction trade as “topping off,” Biocomplexity Institute directors, UVA Foundation leadership and staff, and representatives from the developer Hourigan, gathered at the site to sign their names and add well-wishes to the final steel component of the structure’s frame. The construction team is targeting to complete the building by early spring 2020.

“This building represents the start of a new era for the Biocomplexity Institute at UVA,” said Lauren Coble, Chief Operating Officer of the Biocomplexity Institute. “Since our establishment in 2018, we’ve been quietly growing, putting the foundational blocks of leadership, staff, funding, and development in place. As we look ahead to 2020, we have several important milestones coming to fruition, with moving and making our permanent home at the UVA Research Park being among the most significant. We’re honored to be part of this ceremony, celebrating another notable step for our team and our development.”

In addition to the Biocomplexity Institute’s multidisciplinary research facilities and office space on the third and fourth floors, the 100,000 square-foot Town Center Four office and lab building, will feature a 3,500-square-foot fitness facility, 150-person conference center, ground-level coffee bar, and WiFi-enabled outdoor public spaces. The Research Park’s Town Center features a nearby trail head, open green space for various events and activities, and a full-service café.

The mission of the UVA Research Park is to provide state-of-the-art facilities that serve as a catalyst for the creation and enhancement of research and business collaboration between the university and the public and private sectors.

“The Town Center Four building is the first new building constructed in the UVA Research Park since 2009,” said Deborah van Eersel, Chief Administrative Officer of the UVA Foundation, owner of the UVA Research Park. “Its design and accompanying amenities are the first installments on our new master plan intended to enhance our tenants’ ability to attract talent and create collaborative work spaces that support their important work. The work of the Biocomplexity Institute coincides perfectly with the mission of the Park and we could not be more excited that they have chosen to make the Park their new home.”

The UVA Research Park is located 10 miles from the University of Virginia's central grounds along U.S. Route 29, which runs north-south through the Charlottesville region. It is within 100 miles of downtown Washington, D.C., and less than one mile from the Charlottesville Regional Airport, and Rivanna Station, home to the Army' s National Ground Intelligence Center and the Defense Intelligence Agency.