Va. Tech athletic facility site problematic

Michael Geissler

A committee asked Virginia Tech University to not cut down trees to make room for a new indoor athletics facility this week, according to

The area known as “stadium woods” is located directly east of Lane Stadium on campus, and the facility would require at least 60 trees to be cut down. A committee of 15 members asked them to find a different site.

"The forest is in fact an endangered species in the United States. An old growth forest is," Virginia Tech Forestry Professor John Seiler explained. "It's literally the rarest type of forest structure left in the United States."

The athletics department said it hopes this new facility will improve its football program because of its proximity to the stadium. It would match the new southeastern facilities built by Georgia Tech, Duke, and Virginia in recent years.

The committee asked the University to build the complex in its original spot south of the stadium near the Washington Street tennis courts, according to the Roanoke Times. This plan could either keep the entire woods intact or only remove .2 acres of it.

University President Charles W. Steger said in May that "We'll see what the report has to say and at the end of the day we'll do the right thing."