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Virginia Tech panel defends Stadium Woods

Virginia Tech panel defends Stadium Woods

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Published by The Roanoke Times
An ad hoc committee convened to study the conflict between a proposed Virginia Tech indoor football practice facility and the 14-acre woodland known as Stadium Woods recommended Monday that the university protect the swath of trees.
An ad hoc committee convened to study the conflict between a proposed Virginia Tech indoor football practice facility and the 14-acre woodland known as Stadium Woods recommended Monday that the university protect the swath of trees.

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Published by: The Roanoke Times on Jun 05, 2012
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06/05/2012

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 Athletic Practice Facility Site Evaluation Committee
Final Report 
5/30/2012
Athletic Practice Facility Site Evaluation Committee
John Randolph, Committee Chair, Professor of Urban Affairs & PlanningDean Bork, Associate Professor of Landscape ArchitectureRick DiSalvo, Town of Blacksburg appointee, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,DraperAden AssociatesKara Dodson, Student, College of Natural Resources and Environment, President,Environmental CoalitionTom Gabbard, Associate Director of AthleticsSarah Karpanty, Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology and President-Elect, Faculty SenateArt Keown, Department Head and R. B. Pamplin Professor of Finance and Chair, AthleticCommitteeLarry Killough, KPMG Professor of Accounting and NCAA RepresentativeLeigh LaClair, Deputy Chief Facility OfficerMaxine Lyons, President, Staff SenateGlenn Reynolds, Local Business Owner, Reynolds Architects Inc.Jeff Walters, Harold Bailey Professor of Biological SciencesEmily Wilkinson, Student, Psychology, Vice President of Student Government AssociationChris Wise, Director, Recreational Sports, Student AffairsEric Wiseman, Associate Professor of Urban Forestry and Chair, Arboretum CommitteeCommittee Staff: Heidi McCoy, Chief of Staff, VP for Administrative Services Office
 
APFSEC Report 5/30/12iiTable of ContentsExecutive Summary and Recommendations ......................................................1Summary of Siting Issue ..............................................................................1APFSE Committee Process ..........................................................................2Site Evaluation .............................................................................................3Committee Recommendations .....................................................................10I.
 
Description of Issue and Committee Process..............................................13A.
 
Brief History of the Facility Siting Issue ..............................................13B.
 
The Athletic Practice Facility Site Evaluation Committee ...................14II.
 
Site Evaluation ............................................................................................16A.
 
Evaluation Criteria ................................................................................16B.
 
Candidate Sites Reviewed.....................................................................17C.
 
Evaluation of Candidate Sites by Criterion ..........................................19D.
 
Evaluation Summary Matrix .................................................................29E.
 
Summary of Site Evaluation .................................................................32III.
 
Technical Information Gathered .................................................................35A.
 
Detailed Cost Estimates ........................................................................35B.
 
Summary of Biohabitats, Inc., Ecological Study ..................................36C.
 
Other Ecological Data ...........................................................................37D.
 
Testimonials on Uniqueness of Old Growth Remnant .........................37IV.
 
Responses to Charge Questions ..................................................................39V.
 
Summary of External Surveys and Comments ...........................................45A.
 
External email comments ......................................................................45B.
 
Survey.vt.edu Survey of Faculty Use and Value of the Woods............46C.
 
Random Sample Survey of Campus Community .................................47D.
 
Summary of Resolutions .......................................................................50E.
 
Summary of Media reports ...................................................................52F.
 
Synthesis of Perspectives of Constituencies .........................................52References ..........................................................................................................52Appendices:A.
 
Committee charge and membership listB.
 
Biohabitats, Inc. Virginia Tech Forest Ecological Assessment. May 2012C.
 
Seiler, J. The History of a Proposed Indoor Training Facility and StadiumWoods. February 2012.D.
 
External email summaryE.
 
Survey.vt.edu responsesF.
 
Random sample survey resultsG.
 
Selected Campus and Town resolutionsH.
 
Selected media reports
 
APFSEC Report 5/30/121
Report of the Athletic Practice Facility Site Evaluation Committee
Executive Summary and Recommendations
This Committee was established in January 2012 to help the University resolve the controversysurrounding the proposal to build a 2.1 acre indoor athletic practice facility in part of a designatedEnvironmental Greenway that has come to be known as Stadium Woods. After four months of datagathering and biweekly meetings, the Committee has recognized that this siting decision is a matternot simply about whether or not to build in the Woods. It is also about the design of the campus builtenvironment, disruption and mitigation of existing and prospective campus facilities and uses, andaccommodating the development of the athletic facility at a suitable location and a workable cost. Still,the demonstrated social importance of the Stadium Woods became the determining factor in the
Committee’s deliberations
and this consensus report.
This summary and recommendations introduces the issue, describes the Committee’s process,
discusses the site evaluation, and offers five recommendations:1.
 
Designate Stadium Woods as a Reserve and develop a protection, management, and use planfor the Woods.2.
 
Relocate the proposed facility site from the Woods site to the Washington Street tennis courtsite and develop a site orientation and design that considers cost, aesthetics, mitigation of existing uses, and minimal impact on the Woods.3.
 
Commence construction of replacement tennis courts and roller hockey rink displaced by theWashington St. site before the existing facilities are closed.4.
 
Allocate incremental costs associated with the site relocation, which are a measure of thepreservation value of the Woods, to funding sources other than Athletics and RecreationalSports.5.
 
Review procedures for assessing variance with the Master Plan to safeguard against futurecontroversies of this type.
Summary of Siting Issue
A new indoor athletic practice facility has been in the works at Virginia Tech for more than adecade. In 1999, the new facility and an upgrading of Rector Fieldhouse were included as a singleproject in the university 2000-2006 capital plan, and in 2006 the Board of Visitors authorizedfunding the $25 million project from non-general funds. The combined project would benefit thefootball program and other teams, including soccer, track, lacrosse, and baseball. The 2006 MasterPlan and its 2009 update included a placeholder for the facility on the site of the tennis courts onWashington Street. In 2006, Athletics shifted its building priority to the basketball practice facility.After that project was completed in 2010, Athletics suggested to Facilities that a more favorable sitefor the department was the woods adjacent to the outdoor football practice fields and newlycompleted locker rooms, and Facilities began studying the feasibility of the site. This 3.5 acreWoods Site and the entire 13.75 acre woods area east of Lane Stadium, which has come to beknown as Stadium Woods, are designated in the 2006/2009 Master Plan as part of the campusEnvironmental Greenway.

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