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Virginia Tech's Stadium Woods saved, for now

An athletic practice facility will not be built as originally planned

August 21, 2012|Elizabeth Harrington/David Seidel

BLACKSBURG, Va. — It's back to the drawing board for Virginia Tech.

On Tuesday the university nixed plans to build a new facility on a spot home to trees that date back 300 years.

Many students, environmentalists and neighbors didn't like the idea.

An online petition to save Stadium Woods had 10-thousand signatures on it.

Now the battle is over.

Stadium Woods is about 15 acres and it's behind Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech which made it a good spot to build a new indoor football practice facility.

The facility's price tag is 25 million dollars but neighbors say the cost is far greater than money.

"Well there's not much old growth left in the United States. That was one of the few places that was left in the southeast so I thought they ought to preserve it," said Noel Krieg.

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On Tuesday, Virginia Tech's President agreed to the recommendations made by a committee to not build the facility on Stadium Woods.

Other potential sites are along Washington Street by the tennis courts.

Virginia Tech says they could chose a brand new site somewhere else on campus

A spokesperson says the new football facility will be built.

The only question is where and right now they don't have a timeline.

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A controversial project at Virginia Tech will not be built as originally planned, saving Stadium Woods at least for now.

University officials confirm that a football practice facility will not be built as originally proposed.  Critics of the plan said it would have destroyed a stand of old-growth trees on campus known as Stadium Woods.

University spokesman Larry Hincker said there are three other plans still under consideration.  An entirely new plan could also be developed, Hincker said

Associate Athletic Director Tom Gabbard said the decision does not mean the facility won't be built in the future or that Stadium Woods won't be affected in some way.

In a letter to Virginia Tech President Charles Steger issued Monday, Vice President of Administrative Services Sherwood Wilson recommended accepting the recommendation of an advisory committee to not place the indoor practice facility in Stadium Woods.

According to a news release, Vice President of Administrative Services Sherwood Wilson has directed his staff to "evaluate the options presented by the Committee, as well as any other potential sites that may be appropriate.”

Virginia Tech does not plan to take action on another recommendation from the committee to place the woods in a conservation easement. Also, the school has not set a timetable for its next steps.

Watch WDBJ7 at Six for a live report from campus.

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