Pine Court Blog

  • VCU Plans to Cut Physical Education Program as School’s Athletics Department Looks to Continue Success in 2013-2014 Season

    You don’t have to walk very far through the VCU Athletics Department to know that there’s something special going on with the school’s athletes. Last year, Virginia Commonwealth University’s men’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32 before being displaced by #4 ranked Michigan in a lopsided final, while athletes throughout the department continue to win praise across the country for their achievements.

    But despite all this athletic success, VCU is considering scrapping its physical education program. For these and other stories, keep reading below.

    VCU Rams assistant coach Will Wade moves on

    In May 2013, Chattanooga hired VCU assistant coach Will Wade to be the new men’s head basketball coach. Wade has experienced phenomenal success over his past four years at VCU and hopes to continue that success at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

    As a Nashville native, Wade is eagerly anticipating the challenge of becoming head coach of a school that demands the highest from its athletes. And after earning only one NCAA bid over the past 8 seasons, Wade has his work cut out for him. We wish Will Wade the best of luck in his future role!

    Brad Stevens and Shaka Smart considered forerunners to replace Coach K as head coach of US men’s Olympic basketball team

    Coach Krzyzewski recently announced that he would be leading the next version of the United States Olympic men’s basketball team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. While basketball fans across the country rejoiced at this news, some question whether this could be Coach K’s last Olympics as head coach.

    If 2016 is indeed Coach K’s last Olympics as head coach, then Butler’s Brad Stevens or VCU’s Shaka Smart are considered frontrunners to replace the storied leader. Stevens has guided the Bulldogs to two consecutive national championship appearances in recent years, while Smart has made the VCU Rams more successful than ever before, leading them to one Final Four appearance as well as consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.

    In any case, we’ll have to wait until after the 2016 Olympics – where Coach K will try to earn the country’s third straight gold medal – before we know anything more about the future of Smart and Stevens.

    VCU considers completely cutting physical education training program from the school

    Despite all the happy stories listed above, VCU is considering getting rid of an important part of its athletics department – the physical education program. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, VCU officials are considering scrapping the five-year program due to larger, more robust programs offered at Longwood and James Madison universities. The VCU PE program only had 54 students this past spring, and two of the program’s prominent professors recently retired.

    There is good news for students currently involved in the physical education program: if the program does get phased out, students who are currently on track to receive their reaching license would be able to continue and complete their degree. After earning the PE degree, students generally choose to pursue a master’s degree or a teaching license in health and physical education.

    VCU Rams will participate in Puerto Rico Classic basketball tourney and may be favorites to win

    After arguably the best men’s basketball season in school history in 2012-2013, the VCU Rams aim to aspire to greater heights in the 2013-2014 season. And as one of 8 teams selected to appear in the Puerto Rico Classic, the VCU Rams could continue making a name for themselves on the national stage.

    Although VCU is up against stiff competition (including Michigan and Georgetown), some are suggesting that VCU could be the top-ranked favorite heading into the tournament. Here’s which schools are competing in the tournament this year:

    • Michigan
    • Georgetown
    • VCU
    • Kansas State
    • Florida State
    • Charlotte
    • Long Beach State
    • Northeastern

    Despite the strength of that list of teams, there are some weaknesses that could cause VCU to win it all. Michigan and Georgetown will likely lose some key players before the beginning of next season, while the VCU Rams’ roster will be largely intact from the 2012-2013 season.

    In any case, the field is stacked and the Puerto Rico Classic is bound to be an exciting tournament of some of college basketball’s finest players.

    Two VCU track and field students qualify for NCAA championships

    We are proud to share with you the success of two VCU students who recently qualified for the NCAA women’s track and field championships. Those two students are discus thrower Jaleesa Williams and runner Kiara Porter, both of whom beat school records on their way to the championships.
    Williams qualified for the championships by throwing a school record of 171-4, while Porter beat her own school record in the 400 meters with a time of 52.33 seconds.

    To put that achievement into perspective, consider this: VCU hasn’t sent an athlete to the NCAA women’s’ track and field championships since 2005. And this year, the school is sending two. The championships take place from June 5-8.

  • The Ideal VCU Off Campus Apartments

    Since VCU is the third largest university in Virginia, and one of the top research facilities in the country, a lot of students are interested in enrolling. Between on-campus and off-campus living, it is important that all students find accommodation that’s safe and convenient. This is where we come in: Pine Court Apartments is the ideal off-campus living situation for students of VCU. Each building is located right on Carry Street, a block away campus, making it easy to walk or drive to all school facilities. What this means is that you can still participate in campus activities without living in residence.


    Being a Part of the VCU Lifestyle

    Campus life at VCU is rich and students are encouraged to join extra-curricular clubs, teams, and events throughout the year.  For students interested in athletics, VCU has some amazing sports teams.  Because Pine Court Apartments are so close to campus, waking up early for practice is no sweat to you either!  For programs involving arts and culture, living off-campus is the better option for allowing you creativity to thrive.  By living in the Pine Court Apartments, not only are you experiencing the freedom of living independently, but you are also amidst the lovely city of Richmond.  More specifically, Pine Court Apartments are nearest the Fan District!

    The Beautiful Fan District

    Fan District is the trendiest part of Richmond, hands down.  All amenities are right at the door step, but this isn’t what makes it so great.  Aside from the low key, locally owned cafes, restaurants, shops, and bars that sit on beautifully narrow streets, the area is rich in history and architecture.  One of the biggest selling points for Pine Court Apartments is the pure beauty of the neighbourhood – the parks, the boutiques, and the style.  Most buildings sport a form of Victorian architecture, the most popular being: Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Edwardian, Second Empire, and Tudor Revival.  These lovely buildings are complemented by the wonderful greenery of the city and of the campus.

    Pine Court Apartments – Safe, Quiet, Beautiful

    Pine Court Apartments are close to many lush parks.  This is why there is no place better for a student to live.  The city develops around it, providing more things to do and see, yet the apartment grounds remain tranquil, safe, and clean.  Pine Court Apartments encourage a social life but also foster the academic life.  Included in the rent are utilities and maintenance fees so students don’t have to worry about these things during the term.  Additionally, floor plans are perfect for single-living or shared – so being lonely is never a concern.
    Why Off-Campus Living at VCU is the Right Choice
    Living off-campus does not mean that you will feel disconnected from your school.  In fact, it may just be the opposite!  Your personal freedom doesn’t have to come at the cost of being far away – at least not at Pine Court Apartments.  The buildings are still completely accessible and central to both campus and city life.  Participate in the community or head out on the town with some friends; the only difference is that you are coming back to an affordable, spacy apartment rather than the crammed corridors of residence.
    With living at Pine Court Apartments you are building a permanent lifestyle, one that incorporates VCU but do not rely on it.  Pine Court Apartments make it easy to rent and gives students the ultimate move-out experience.  Students can feel comfortable on their own and so can their parents.  Pine Court Apartments cater to the university lifestyle, just in its own way.  No more sharing bathrooms with floor mates, as every room has a private bathroom; enjoy high-speed internet and Cable TV bundled in with the rent; and sleep easy knowing that there is a 24-hour maintenance service.

What it means to be a Student

University isn’t just about getting an education – although that is the primary goal!  It is also important that students learn to interact and become independent so after they graduate, they are ready for life.  Reading books and writing tests is theoretical work but learning to live is practical.  By living off-campus you experience what it’s like to grow-up.  You are removed from school institutions but are still at a distance where they’re close when you need them.  It’s about growing, learning, and maturing.  At Pine Court Apartments, we want our students to succeed and we do everything we can to ensure that happens.   Make the choice to live at Pine Court Apartments and begin living a lifestyle that is right for you.

  • VCU Student Apartments in the Fan District: Beautiful and Affordable

    With VCU’s Off-Campus Living Fair coming-up March 28th, students are beginning to think about their living situation for the summer and fall term. Richmond, Virginia has plenty of residential areas available to students, most of which are ideally situated near campus facilities. In saying this, each apartment building or home may suit some more than others.

    Pine Court apartments offer outstanding rentals tailored to satisfy every student’s need. Located on Cary Street West, a block across from the Engineering Hall and Residential Life Center, Pine Court accommodations are the perfect distance from the university. Each of the three buildings sits in a well-developed neighbourhood, balancing both function and beauty. There are a variety of floor plans available, from bachelor to three bedrooms, all priced with a tight budget in mind.

    VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University)

    Whether or not you are already enrolled at VCU or are just an aspiring academic, knowing the mechanics and highlights of the university will help you gauge what the area is like. Considering that the campus has been around since 1838, calling it monumental for Richmond, Virginia is justifiable.

    VCU enrols more than 31,000 students in over 200 different degree programs. While there are many streams of education, VCU contributes the only Level 1 Trauma medical center in the city. Not only is it an incredible place of learning but it is also an encouraging environment for hands-on application. Like all of VCU’s programs, the engineer and medical institutions on campus are extremely well-funded.

    If you’ve decided to be a part of VCU, be proud knowing that you have joined the largest research university in Virginia. To complement your studies you will need to find a suitable place of residence either on campus or off.

    Fan District

    Pine Court offers stunning off-campus VCU apartments for all VCU students’ right in the heart of Fan District. The tree-patterned streets and decorative architecture combine to make a place you will be proud to call home.   There are many cafes and restaurants in Fan District, although it is primarily a residential zone.

    This area of Richmond is split into two regions: upper and lower. VCU is located in the lower region, an area subject to the City Beautiful Movement of the 19th century. Much of the middle-class housing from the Progressive Era still remains occupied today and has become quite trendy. The Pine Court apartment buildings closest to Monroe campus are less historical but equally picturesque.


    Benefits of Living Off-Campus

    Living off-campus near VCU doesn’t have to be inconvenient; in fact, it might just prove to be the opposite. Similarly, having an apartment near and not on campus does not necessarily mean increased walking distance. There are a multitude of reasons to live on campus just as there are many reasons to seek apartments near campus. Consider the following reasons why off-campus living is preferred:

    • Increased Privacy – Not only is it common to choose your roommates when living in the apartments near VCU, as opposed to assigned floor-mates in residence, but common living areas are typically more spacious. With this said, spacious does not mean open – there are plenty of places to keep quiet for some personal time.
    • Fewer Distractions – Being removed from the campus may just be what you need to stay focused. A change of scenery, or even just a place to call your own, is always useful when getting down to work.
    • Healthier Eating – VCA, like many other universities, does not always offer the healthiest menus in the cafeteria. When living in apartments outside of campus, you are forced to do your own groceries – this often encourages healthier eating habits.
    • Cost – Living on campus is pricey whereas apartments in Fan District are affordable. With plenty of layouts and sizing, off-campus apartments at VCU are priced with student finances in mind.

    Amenities and Features of Fan District Apartments

    Pine Court apartments offer VCA students everything they need to get settled in. Features like private bathrooms, reliable security and onsite maintenance, laundry facilities, and Cable/High Speed Internet are all provided for maximum comfort.   We recognize that you are choosing to live near VCA’s campus because you are looking for more. Well, with Pine Court, you are always a walking distance from class and conveniently close to town – you get the best of both worlds.

    Fan District will feel like a permanent home, rather than just a temporary place to study.   Get the VCU experience you truly want and take a look at the apartments near campus to find one right for you.

  • The Rich History Of Richmond; A Journey For The VCU Student

    There are so many tidbits of information that should be considered when talking about the history of Richmond, Virginia.  This capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia that lies along the fall line of the James River is actually rich in historical relevance.  Incorporated as a city in 1782, it had plentiful contribution to the Revolutionary War history of the country.  In fact, Richmond was known during the Civil War as the capital of the Confederate States of America.

    Its history however as a modern city actually dates back to the early part of the 17th century, which was fundamental to the development of the colony of Virginia as well as the Revolutionary War in the United States along with the Civil War.  Historical accounts about Richmond also point out that its location was actually a blessing since it was instrumental in developing such a diversified economy, thus allowing Richmond to become a hub for land transportation.

    Establishing Richmond


    The rich and colorful history of Richmond began in 1607 when Captain John Smith, together with 120 men of Jamestown Virginia travelled up the Powhatan’s River that eventually became known as James River.  They settled at the highest navigable location at the river, which essentially became the first attempts at settling at the Falls of the James.

    In 1611, an expedition was organized by the governor of the new Jamestown colony.  They sailed up the James and subsequently settled just below the falls, a place they referred to as Henricus.  This also served as the location for the first hospital in North America and the home of Pocahontas.  Eventually, conflicts with indigenous people began to emerge and come to full steam in 1617, after the death of Pocahontas.  The following year, Chief Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas also died.

    Chief Operchancanough was extremely aggressive and responsible for the widespread Indian attacks during a period known as the Powhatan uprising during 1622.  This resulted in the destruction of all English settlement along James River as well as the massacre of almost 400 white settlers during the 1644 surprise attack.

    A treaty two years later resulted in the possession of the land below the Falls of the James by the English.  Shokoe Slip, Shockoe Bottom, and Church Hill, which was the site for the St. John’s Church, erected the year before, were merged to create the charter town of Richmond in 1742.  It came under the governance of the Virginia House of Burgesses, which was in Jamestown.

    Role in the Revolutionary War

    VCU students which are eager to learn about the history of Richmond will learn about the important role of Richmond during the Revolutionary War.  Richmond took center stage as Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech of “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” at the St. John’s Church.  According to historians, this was the inspiration that motivated the House of Burgesses to approve a resolution in 1775 to incorporate Virginia troops into the Revolutionary War.  After a year, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.

    During the War of Independence of 1780, Richmond was recognized as the State capital of Virginia, from Williamsburg.  British troops burned Richmond to the ground after a year during the watch of Benedict Arnold.  It only took Richmond two years to recover from this devastating event in its history, and eventually be incorporated in 1782 as a city.

    Richmond in Modern Times

    In 1972, the James River flooded Richmond primarily due to the 16 inches of rain that Hurricane Agnes released over central Virginia.  Even the 200-year old historical flood waters record was broken as the river rose 6.5 feet higher than anything ever recorded.  A multi-million dollar floodwall was built 13 years later to ensure that the rising river waters will never overflow again.

    The expanded floodwall eventually arrested years of economic decline as portions of the riverfront became available for development.  By the 21st century, the revitalization efforts exerted resulted in restaurants, trendy apartments, hotels, and shops, populating the 1.25 mile long corridor.  The corridor occupies the former location of the James River, Haxal Canal, and the Kanawha Canal.

    In 1990, the State of Virginia validated its rightful place in the civil rights movements as the grandson of former slaves, L. Douglas Wilder was sworn in as governor. He was the first African-American voted into office in the State.

    Notable attractions

    The “River City” has other interesting places to offer travelers, history buffs, and students alike.  Known during the 1800 as the “Black Wall Street” due to the presence of various banks, Jackson Ward is still identified today as one of the most historic locations in the 40 neighborhood blocks of the city.  Other notable attractions in Richmond are:

    • Agecroft Hall
    • American Historical Foundation
    • Belle Isle
    • Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia
    • Bolling Haxall House
    • Canal Boat Tours
    • Canal Walk
    • Capitol Square and Virginia State Capitol
    • Carillon at Byrd Park
    • Edgar Allen Poe Museum
    • Egyptian Building at the VCU Medical Center
    • Executive Mansion
    • Farmers’ Market
    • Historic Richmond Foundation
    • Hollywood Cemetery
    • James River Park System
    • Jefferson Hotel
    • John Marshall Hotel
    • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
    • Library of Virginia
    • Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
    • Main Street Station
    • Maymont Park
    • Monument Avenue
    • Museum of the Confederacy
    • Old City Hall
    • Richmond National Battlefield Park
    • Saint John’s Episcopal Church
    • Valentine Richmond History Center
    • Virginia Aviation Museum
    • Virginia Center for Architecture
    • Virginia Historical Society
    • Virginia Holocaust Museum
    • Wilton House Museum

    The city’s history offers a rich and enlightening experience for the VCU student if they simply choose to set off on the journey.

  • New VCU Basketball Practice Facility: Highlighting Breakout Players

    The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) population is undoubtedly extremely psyched about the new VCU basketball practice facility.  As one of the fastest growing universities within the territory of the Commonwealth of Virginia, it boasts of a student body that is full of die-hard basketball fans.  The opening of the new practice facility is therefore welcome news to everyone and not just those in the athletic department.

    The new VCU basketball practice facility supposedly costs 9 million dollars and will be erected at the northwest side of the Siegel Center, which is the parking lot near the side of the Bowe Street deck.  It will be used by both the men’s and women’s basketball teams for their practice sessions.  The projection is that this 2,070 square meter facility will see construction by 2013, which is something truly worth looking forward to.

    For those in the VCU community, the project is currently in the design stage and the school is already excited to see its completion.  According to the Ed McLaughlin, the Athletics director of VCU, the basketball facility is actually an exceptional gift to the campus.  Although the donors were not explicitly named, he made it clear that the funding for the project came from a private entity.  He also confided that the project was actually approved way back August 2011 by the board of visitors based on the six-year capital plan of the university.

    Initial figures place the cost at 9 million dollars; however, the athletics director said that it could exceed that.  More importantly, he would really like to see construction begin by the end of this season.  There is no down that gifts like these will make a substantial impact on the quality of play of the varsity team to further improve their level of play.  There is also no doubt that this project represents a significant value to the university.

    The new VCU basketball practice facility will also be of significant importance to breakout players for the Rams like sophomore wingman Treveon Graham.  According to coach Shaka Smart, Graham should already have been considered as one of the breakout players in his freshman year, except that he was still in the shadows of one of the most prolific players in the history of Rams’ basketball, Bradford Burgess.  However, in his sophomore year, Graham is being grouped to play multiple positions and roles.

    Graham is expected to make up for the loss of Burgess who finished his NCAA career as only one of three Rams to compile more than 1,600 points, 200 assists, and grab 700 rebounds, no doubt a triple threat player.  All of these were achieved by Bradford Burgess in a record 146 consecutive NCAA basketball games playing the position of either guard or forward.  The 6-foot-5 Graham will have his work cut out for him as he tries to improve on his freshman statistics of 7 points with 3.2 rebounds in an average of 16.8 minutes of playing time.

    In comparing Graham with the graduated Burgess, Smart believes that they both excel in so many facets of the game.  He is quick to point out though that Graham is better at drawing fouls as well as absorbing contact around the rim and finishing.  Smart is optimistic about the ability of Graham to score off rebounds as well as his 3-point range capability despite inconsistencies in his freshman year, which the coach attributes mostly to jitters.

    The positive outlook of coach Smart is based on the work ethic that Graham has displayed as he used the summer to work not only on his defensive game, but also his ball handling skills, midrange and long range shooting, and even his free throws.  This is something worth looking at since Graham is one of the top 40 players in terms of foul drawn in 40 minutes of action, which means that he gets to go to the free throw line relatively more than other Rams players.

    In high School, Graham was a 75 percent free throw shooter, but in his freshman season, he dropped to 63.3 percent foul shots made.  This does not bother coach Smart as he projects a significant increase in the number of free throw shots that will be awarded to Graham this season, from 120 shot to about 200 to 250, which the coach attributes to the significant increase in the minutes he played this season.

    Rob Brandenberg is a junior guard who is also another breakout player who is excited at the prospects of the new VCU basketball practice facility.  Despite the roller coaster season last year, coach Smart believes that things will happen just at the right time for Brandenberg.  This is because the coach has seen him put in the work with dedication both in the skills and mental aspects of the game.  There is no doubt in the mind of coach Smart that all these hard work will pay dividends in the season.

    Currently, the VCU coach believes that the Rams have an edge against the newer teams.  This is because many of them are not familiar with the type of fast-paced and pressing game that they play, which delivers huge advantages for the VCU Rams.  This is something that he sees improving more as the new VCU basketball practice facility becomes a reality.  He also believes that as the team gets more practice with their style of play, they will become mentally tougher as they hit the road for grueling games.  All of these preparations will be greatly enhanced once the new VCU basketball practice facility becomes operational.