Intermediate April 16 memorial planned

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Intermediate April 16 memorial planned

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<b>Tech students are happy with proposed design</b>

By: Bryan Schamus

(June 7) Virginia Tech released its plans today for an intermediate memorial for the victims of the April 16 shootings, one day after announcing that Norris Hall, the site of 31 of the 33 shootings, would reopen on June 18.

The memorial site will be located on the <a href=http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/webcam.php>Drillfield</a>, in front of Burruss Hall, where a makeshift memorial sprung up after the shootings.

"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," Tech President Charles Steger said in a press release.

Thirty-two small, upright Hokie stones - each etched with the name of one of the victims - will be installed in crushed gravel and surrounded by a semi-circular walking path. Construction is expected to be completed by the time students return for fall semester.

Students walking around campus today seemed content with the decision when they saw an artists&#39; rendering of what the memorial would look like. "Wow, that looks nice," and "Very cool" were their reactions when I showed them a copy of the design pictured above.

"I personally really like the design," said Sumeet Bagai, a coordinator of <a href=http://www.hokiesunited.org.vt.edu/>Hokies United</a>, the group that helped erect the first temporary memorial on the Drillfield. "I think it affirms the university&#39;s commitment to what students want and is more of a permanent version of what Hokies United did."

The intermediate memorial and its location were chosen by a committee of about half a dozen Tech community members, including four students. Vice President of Alumni Relations Tom Tillar chaired that committee.

Part of the temporary memorial currently on the Drillfield is a 33rd stone with Seung-Hui Cho&#39;s name next to it. That stone was not placed by the university or any university-affiliated group but by the community, Bagai said. The university&#39;s design for the intermediate memorial includes no plans for a 33rd stone.

All 33 stones from the original memorial will be offered to the families of those who died, according to university relations and Bagai.

The intermediate memorial will remain until a permanent one is constructed elsewhere on campus. Another committee will be convened to decide on the location and type of permanent memorial that the university will construct.

Tillar&#39;s committee suggested the area on the Drillfield across the street from the Duck Pond and off of West Campus Drive as a location for the permanent memorial.

"This is a prominent position and a place of honor immediately opposite the Memorial Chapel with its Pylons that honor Virginia Tech war dead. The memorials will symbolically anchor either end of the Drillfield, another hallowed location on this campus," Tillar said in a statement.

The permanent memorial will likely take several years to construct.

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Original Source: <a href=http://www.biglicku.com/blu/Stories/StoryDisplayPage.aspx?Title=Intermediate%20April%2016%20memorial%20planned&ID=359> Big Lick U - June 7, 2007</a>

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Bryan Schamus

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2007-06-27

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Sara Hood

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Chris Winston <Chris.Winston@biglicku.com>

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eng

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Bryan Schamus, " Intermediate April 16 memorial planned," in The April 16 Archive, Item #608, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/608 (accessed July 25, 2014).