The Drillfield at Virginia Tech

The Drillfield at Virgina Tech is a large field that sits at the bottom of a shallow bowl, around which the Virginia Tech campus is built. The field is oval in shape, and approximately 600 feet wide and 1500 feet long, give or take, and the road that encircles it is about 3/4 mile in length. The drillfield got its name from the days that Virgina Tech had mandatory ROTC as part of its curriculum, and the name has stuck ever since.

Around the Drillfield

The field also largely serves to divide the campus into three main areas. To the southheast of the drillfield are most of the dormitories on the lower quad and prarie quad, and to the northwest are most of the Academic Buildings.

On the northeast end of the drillfield is the Memorial Chapel, the Newman Library, The Mall, and the Upper Quad, which contains some of the older dormitories. The Mall is now spanned by a large arched walkway which runs from the library to the Communications Building, which acts as a gateway from The Mall to the Main Campus, which was built around the Drillfield. On the southeast side of The Drillfield is The Duckpond, a quiet shady spot where one can reflect on the meaning of life as the ducks swim by.

In the middle of the northwest side of the drillfield is Burruss Hall which is the main Administration Building for the campus. Just across the street from Burruss Hall is a reviewing stand that overlooks the drillfield. There are not that many ROTC drills to review these days, since compulsory ROTC was repealed in 1963, but it occasionally serves as a stage for other outdoor events. Depending on the season or weather, The Drillfield will often be bustling with dozens of football, soccer, or softball games, in addition to dozens of students tossing frisbees. In the wintertime, it can be just a chore to cross due to the mud, snow, and ice that accumulate as the icy wind blows down out of the mountains.

Over the years, Blacksburg and the outer areas of the Tech Campus have changed considerably, and there have been a few proposals that have surfaced from time to time to reconfigure The Drillfield to provide space for additional buildings, but all such proposals have been almost immediately shot down by Hokie students and alumni.