Board of visitors requests funding for new heating, cooling plant

BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 23, 2004 – The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors met Sunday, Aug. 22, and Monday, Aug. 23, for its quarterly meeting. Several proposals were reviewed and ratified during the two-day session.

Among the issues reviewed by the board were budget amendments and requests for the 2005 governor's budget. The board approved requests for additional state funding to the university's overall operating budget totaling $14.2 million and adjustments to the capital funding budget totaling $70.4 million.

The university's capital funding requests include $16.4 million for a new $26.2 million heating and cooling plant to service the southwest portion of campus. The university's central steam plant located on Turner and Stanger streets has reached its maximum capacity and distribution limits. The exact location and fuel source of the new plant have yet to be determined. According to Vice President for Business Affairs Kurt J. Krause, "Virginia Tech is currently operating with very slim margins. In order to build new buildings, we must have a new heating and cooling source."

The board approved the acquisition of three properties in Blacksburg located at 405 Turner St., 405 Barger St., and 407 Barger St. The three properties were purchased from the Virginia Tech Foundation for $1.15 million. The board also authorized the Virginia Tech Foundation to negotiate on behalf of the university the purchase of 80 acres in Augusta County, Va., contiguous to the university's Shenandoah Valley Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Steeles Tavern, Va.

The board approved the appointments of A. George Mason, president of Mason Energy Consultants in Richmond, Va., and Marshall S. Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Marshall Miller and Associates headquartered in Bluefield, Va., to the Virginia Coal and Energy Research and Development Advisory Committee. The board also approved the appointment of Kurt J. Krause to the Virginia Tech/Montgomery Regional Airport Authority.

Mitchell O. Carr of Staunton, Va., and T. Rodman Layman of Pulaski, Va., two Virginia Tech Board of Visitors members whose terms expired June 30, 2004, were officially honored by the board with a formal resolution. The two were recognized for their many years of dedicated service to the board and to the university.

The board also approved the naming of the Virginia Tech Horticulture Garden and the garden house therein to the Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Garden and the Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion. The new name honors the wife of Virginia Tech's 11th president T. Marshall Hahn for her service as First Lady of Virginia Tech (1962 to 1974), her lifelong interest in gardening and horticulture education, and in appreciation of her dedicated support of the university.

In addition, 10 university professors were honored with emeritus status, and five university professors were given the prestigious designation of an endowed university professorship.

The next meeting of the full Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will be Nov. 7-8, 2004. Meeting dates for 2005 also were announced: March 13-14, June 12-13, Aug. 28-29, and Nov. 6-7.