University Breaks Ground For Alumni, Conference, And Hotel Complex

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2003 – The university will break ground Saturday for a joint use complex which includes a new hotel, conference center, and alumni center. Built from Virginia Tech's beloved Hokie stone, the design harkens back to the earliest versions of traditional collegiate gothic architecture in Tech's history. The groundbreaking will take place at 3 p.m. just off Campus Drive on the fifth fairway (about halfway between Perry Street and Prices Fork Road).

Plans for the 191,360 gross square foot alumni and conference center were first made public in October 2000. The $46 million facility will feature a new alumni center, a high-tech conference center, and a 147-room hotel. The center will be located at the corner of Campus Drive and Prices Fork Road.

The Holtzman Alumni Center, named for William Holtzman, Edinburg will be the home of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association and offices for associated university personnel. In addition to the Grand Hall, the Holtzman Center will include a museum, special collections library, an auditorium, meeting rooms, and offices.

Holtzman, who generously supported the center, earned his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in 1959 and his master's degree from Cornell in 1961. He is president and founder of Holtzman Oil Corp., a large employer in the Shenandoah Valley. President Charles Steger said, "Bill Holtzman's philanthropy will live in perpetuity benefiting all Virginia Tech alumni."

The Skelton Conference Center, named for Bill and Peggy Skelton, features a 9,200 square foot ballroom, and 13 meeting and conference rooms of various sizes, with state of the art technology and audio visual capabilities.

In announcing the Skelton naming, President Charles Steger said, "Bill and Peggy are the dynamic duo of Virginia Tech. Their ties to the university stretch back seven decades. Throughout those years, the Skelton's unqualified support of and dedicated service to the land-grant mission of Virginia Tech has been unmatched."

Bill Skelton served as director and dean of extension. Peggy Skelton was a faculty member and director of the Cooperative Extension Family Resource Program in the College of Home Economics (now Human Sciences and Education.) Since their retirement, both have continued to serve the university in countless ways.

The hotel will feature three executive suites, three parlor suites, and 141 regular rooms. Overall, the complex will have 15 conference meeting rooms totaling 20,000 square feet and banquet facilities capable of seating 800. The complex will be the largest conference hotel west of Roanoke and is scheduled to open summer 2005. Branch and Associates, Roanoke, is the general contractor.

Renderings available at