U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan on Sunday issued a statement on the Rotunda roof repair project and the fate of the adjacent magnolia trees. You can read the whole statement here, but the main take-home is that the details about the work schedule and the fate of the trees are still in flux.
Of the trees, which have been the object of Facebook campaigning, she wrote, “The Board members were informed that the magnolias are at the end of their projected lifespan and were planted too close to the building. Arborists — our own as well as outside experts — believe that the repair work on the Rotunda will only exacerbate the trees’ already fragile state,” nevertheless adding, “These are matters that we must consider further.”
Of the possibility that the Rotunda roof work could mar graduation pictures in both 2012 and 2013, she wrote, “Let me reassure you that we are still in the throes of working out the timing of construction work in an effort to minimize disruption to the daily lives of our students, staff, and faculty — and to address concerns that have been raised about Finals Weekends.”
One senior administrator told me after the recent Board of Visitors meeting that she has been advising fourth-year students who are concerned about the appearance of the Rotunda during Finals Weekend to get good pictures now, and Photoshop their capped-and-gowned selves into them next spring.
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