Thursday, June 07, 2007

Breaking News: Shooting victims' memorial at Virginia Tech gets new stones

The circle of Hokie stones that has been on Virginia Tech's Drillfield since the April 16 shootings will soon be replaced with an

Matt Gentry | The Roanoke Times

The circle of Hokie stones that has been on Virginia Tech's Drillfield since the April 16 shootings will soon be replaced with an "intermediate" memorial containing 32 engraved Hokie stones.

Virginia Tech officials will build a new version of the Hokie stone arc memorial on the Drillfield this summer, and give the current stones to family members of the April shooting victims, according to a university announcement this morning.

The student group, Hokies United, placed the current 32-stone memorial on the field on April 16.

The updated memorial, which will place new, upright Hokie stones engraved with each of the 32 shooting victims' names, will be in place until officials decide when and where to build a permanent memorial.

"The university community, and particularly the students, has become attached to this location. It seems only appropriate that we continue this tradition with something more substantive while we begin the process of looking elsewhere on campus for a permanent and fitting memorial to honor the memory and lives of our fallen students and faculty," said President Charles Steger.

A committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff made the decision for a new, but "intermediate" stone memorial. That group suggested building the permanent memorial west of the Drillfield, between Davidson and Price halls because it's a "prominent position."

Now, a second group will come together to decide the design of the permanent memorial. That memorial would be expected to take "several years" to build.

Steger is expected to look at whether to have a design competition, or to use student or alumni architects.

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