University Libraries Logo University Archives of Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Historical Data Book, Section 6.3:
Miscellaneous Campus Features

AIRPORT - The original University Airport was laid out in the fall of 1929. The university supplied the site and paid for half of the construction, and the state paid the other half. Permission to operate the airport was granted on Aug. 5, 1931. The airport was enlarged in the spring of 1940 with the university contributing $15,000 and the Works Progress Administration contributing $21,142. An additional $273,000 was granted by the WPA in October 1940 for development. The main airport hanger was completed in 1940; an airport shop was completed in 1942. Enlargement of the airport with a new runway graded for 6,000 feet (4,600 paved) to cross the old 2,850-foot runway was begun in 1965 at a cost of $551,540 (of which the Federal Aviation Agency supplied $275,770). The runway was completed in 1966; lights were installed in 1967; a new "T" hanger on the northwest side of the airport was added in 1970.

AMPHITHEATRE (Garden Theatre) - A 1,500 capacity outdoor theatre, located southeast of the Duck Pond, was dedicated Aug. 24, 1935.

DRILLFIELD - The original drill area in the 1870's was in the area north of the First and Second Academic Buildings. Later it was in back of Lane Hall (Barracks No. 1). A small part of the present Drillfield area was used for horticultural gardens. Parts of the present Drillfield area have been known by the following names: Sheib Field (1894-1902), Gibboney Field (1902-09), Miles Field (1909-26), Drillfield (fall of 1926-present). Two asphalt walks were laid across the Drillfield during the summer of 1971 and others have been added since. Strouble's Creek, which once ran open through the south portion of the Drillfield, was covered by a conduit in the summer of 1934.

DUCK POND - A lake, or pond, was built near Solitude in the summer of 1937 and has since been nicknamed the Duck Pond by students. The lake is fed by two small creeks. Another small lake, called the Ice Pond, is located immediately north. It was originally built to supply ice to the college until a refrigerating plant was inaugurated in the 1898-99 session.

"GROVE, The" - Nickname given to the wooded, hilly area in the vicinity of Bldg. 274 (the president's home).

MALL, The - Construction on the 0.74.mile Mall was started in the fall of 1950 and completed in the spring of 1951. Cost: $117,045.

SEISMOGRAPH STATION - Completed fall 1962. Cost $50,000; 681 sq. ft.; underground reinforced concrete structure. One of 125 identical stations making up "Vela Uniform Program" of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Station contains six seismometers mounted on concrete piers that connect directly to bedrock 3-1/2 feet below. Recorder is located in the geological sciences department.


VT History | Digital Library and Archives | Special Collections | University Archives

Send questions or comments to:

Tamara Kennelly, University Archivist
University Libraries
Virginia Tech
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA, 24062-9001

Last Modified on: Tuesday, 25-Sep-2001 08:16:08 EDT