On Aug. 18-20, several employees with the Facilities Department spent most of their weekend working from atop a 65-foot lift to improve the flagpoles in front of Burruss Hall.
The 60-foot-tall poles hold the American flag and the state of Virginia flag. The process of raising and lowering the flags had been increasingly difficult in recent years as a result of the age and weathering of the poles and pulley system.
The work was completed by Jeff Davis, Frankie Stanley, James Pritchard, Steven Davis, Benjamin Brown, Wesley Woodyard, and Wayne Southern with the buildings and grounds team.
The men spent a combined 56 hours priming and painting the poles and replacing the pulley system and flags. During that time the flags, which measure 10'x 15' each, were removed from the poles.
Other flagpoles on campus are located in front of the Merryman Athletics Center, Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, Visitor Information Center, Public Safety Building, upper quad (two locations in addition to Lane Hall), and Moody Plaza (outside of Lane Stadium, along Beamer Way). All of those are in good condition.
Burruss Hall serves as the main administration building on the Blacksburg campus and contains a 3,003-seat auditorium where major events, such as commencement, presidential speeches, concerts, and art shows, are held.
Several additional updates have been made to the exterior of the building recently.
Over the summer, lighting in the Burruss Hall tunnel was replaced with LED fixtures. Twelve high-pressure sodium lights were replaced by 12 LED packs as part of the Green RFP Program managed by the Office of Sustainability. This was one of 10 student submitted projects for sustainability initiatives on campus that were approved during the 2016-17 process. For safety purposes, the lights in the tunnel remain on 24/7. The LED lights consume about 10 percent of the energy that the previous lights required.
In January, 121 linear feet of handrails were installed in front of the building. In addition to helping people with mobility impairments, the handrails also allow individuals to move up the four flights of steps from Drillfield Drive to the building entrance more easily.