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Committee appointed to evaluate wooded site for proposed athletic training facility


BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 19, 2012 – The university has appointed a study committee to evaluate the proposed site for the new indoor athletic practice facility.

Citing concerns expressed by members of the university community and under direction from President Charles W. Steger, Sherwood Wilson, vice president for administrative services, will ask the committee to, among other things, evaluate the ecological and educational significance of the wooded area adjacent to football practice field, which is the proposed site for the new indoor athletic facility.

“This will be an operational committee charged with developing recommendations for how the university can resolve the need for a critical athletics facility in close proximity to existing facilities while also being good stewards of our natural resources,” said Wilson.

The 15 member committee, chaired by John Randolph, professor of urban affairs and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will evaluate “the advantages and disadvantages of each site that is being considered by university planning staff.” The committee includes representatives from the Student Government Association, Staff Senate, Athletics, the Energy and Sustainability Committee, seven faculty members, two Blacksburg citizens, and Facilities Services.

Wilson says that the university needs a more comprehensive picture of all aspects of the concerns raised.

“Before making a decision on whether to build on the proposed site adjacent to the locker rooms and the football practice field or find another suitable location, we need to fully understand the ecological and educational significance of the wooded area,” said Wilson. “What educational programs depend on this location? What impact would the building have on the wooded area? Can the concerns of our community be mitigated in this location? If not, are there alternative sites and what will be the impact on athletics of finding another location?”

The project will last for the spring semester with the committee’s report due June 1, 2012. Committee members include

  • Dean Bork, associate professor of landscape architecture, College of Architecture and Urban Studies;
  • Kara Dodson, undergraduate student, College of Natural Resources and Environment; president of the Virginia Tech Environmental Coalition; and student representative to the Energy and Sustainability Committee;
  • Tom Gabbard, associate director of athletics, internal affairs;
  • Sarah Karpanty, assistant professor of fish and wildlife conservation, College of Natural Resources and Environment, and president-elect, Faculty Senate;
  • Art Keown, R.B. Pamplin Professor and head, Department of Finance, Insurance, and Business Law, Pamplin College of Business; and chair, Athletics Committee;
  • Larry Killough, KPMG Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, Pamplin College of Business, and faculty representative to the NCAA;
  • Leigh LaClair, deputy chief facilities officer, Facilities Services;
  • Maxine Lyons, president, Staff Senate, and staff representative to the board of visitors;
  • John Randolph (chair), professor of urban affairs and planning, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and member of the Energy and Sustainability Committee;
  • Glenn Reynolds, Reynolds Architects Incorporated (local business owner);
  • Jeff Walters, Harold Bailey Professor of Biological Sciences, College of Science;
  • Emily Wilkinson, undergraduate student, College of Sciences, and vice president, Student Government Association;
  • Chris Wise, director of recreational sports, Division of Student Affairs;
  • Eric Wiseman, associate professor of forest resources and environmental conservation and Extension specialist, College of Natural Resources and Environment and chair of the Arboretum Committee; and
  • TBA, additional resident from the Town of Blacksburg.