Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, members of the Virginia Tech community will have the opportunity to share their opinions about 14 different materials being tested on two paths on the Drillfield. The materials are being considered for permanent installation in the future. 

Located in the center of campus, the Drillfield is a common throughway for students and faculty members. The paths, which carry thousands of students daily, were never a planned feature. They evolved organically as the campus grew and students crossed the area over time. The paths often became muddy which led to significant maintenance issues. Several smaller paths were paved with asphalt this past summer as a temporary remedy until a more permanent solution could be identified. The larger paths were first paved in the late 1970s.

Feedback can be shared via Twitter (@drillfieldpaths) or online at

The poll will remain open through Sept. 25. Community members will also be asked to provide feedback in the winter and spring.

The materials, which include stabilized turf, synthetic turf, the existing asphalt, and a combination of concrete, gravel, and pavers in various colors and patterns were identified in the spring of 2015 by a university Drillfeld Paths Committee assembled to identify, test, and evaluate all weather and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliant solutions to enhance the green-space aesthetic and multi-use purpose of the Drillfield.

A numbered map and photos of the test materials are available on the Drillfield Paths website.

Faculty members have been invited to submit a proposal to develop a new paving surface to be utilized on the Drillfield. Learn more about the proposal process.

The committee, which included several students, is expected to make a recommendation to university officials about which materials meet the university’s needs following the conclusion of the 2015-16 academic year.

The Drillfield Paths effort is part of a broader initiative supported by the Board of Visitors to develop a new master plan for the Drillfield that will preserve the beauty of the area while making it a more usable space.