Virginia Tech will break ground for the Peggy Lee Hahn Pavilion in the Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Peggy Lee Hahn, after whom the Garden has been named, and T. Marshall Hahn, her husband and Virginia Tech president emeritus will be joined at the ceremony by Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College, and several of the individuals who will design and oversee the construction of the Pavilion.
The new building will be a 2,500 square-foot multi-purpose special events and educational center. It was designed by Hill Studio of Roanoke and is scheduled for completion early 2006.
“The garden is beginning a major expansion thanks to the gift from the Hahns,” said Holly Scoggins, associate professor of horticulture who coordinates the garden. When complete, the garden will be nearly seven acres and used for research in several areas including landscape design, as well as serve as a special space for teaching.
The garden was named to honor Peggy Lee Hahn, an enthusiastic gardener, for her outstanding service as Virginia Tech’s first lady during T. Marshall Hahn’s tenure as president, 1962 to1974. She hosted hundreds of events in the president’s home that helped facilitate the transformation of Virginia Tech from a small, primarily male, military college to a comprehensive, co-educational, research university. The Hahns pledged a $1 million estate gift and $475,000 in start-up funds for the expansion of the garden.
The garden was started in 1983 when the department of horticulture faculty redesigned what were the trial beds into a two-and-a-half acre full-fledged garden. The faculty and students got some of the first items for the new garden from the garden of author Andre Viette near Fishersville, Va.
The garden, located on Washington Street on Virginia Tech’s campus, is cared-for by volunteers who meet weekly to do projects needed to maintain the garden and by Friends of the Garden, a membership group of interested individuals. All of these people, both beginning and experienced gardeners participate in seminars and events.
Visitors can see the dramatic plant and floral displays from dawn to dusk. The garden has been the setting for many events including weddings. One of its features is the Jane Andrews Memorial Stream Garden.