June 28, 1996
Beamer Gives Some Back
Just a few days after signing his new contract, valued at $148,000 a year in salary plus about $115,000 more per year in other income, Frank Beamer and his wife Cheryl donated $50,000 right back to Virginia Tech. The Beamers' donation is earmarked towards construction for the new football facility, which is slated to get underway November 1st of this year.
In typical Beamer fasion, Frank was quoted as saying that part of the reason he donated the money was that he "didn't feel comfortable asking someone for something when I'm not giving my best." In other words, Frank has been so vocal about asking people for money for the new facility that he's leading the way with a hefty donation himself.
That makes the second time in five years that the Beamers have given $50,000 to the sports programs at Tech. That's a man who's committed to the university, folks.
Gee, between me and the Beamers, we've donated $50,100 towards construction of the new building.
How much have you donated, Hokie fan?
Tragedy at the Cassell
Yesterday, my fiancee and I were driving down Southgate drive when she motioned up towards Cassell Coliseum and said, "What's going on there?" She was referring to some construction equipment and scaffolding that were draped over and around the Coliseum's roof.
I told her that Tech was redoing the roof to strengthen it structurally. The roof was covered in over two feet of snow at one point last winter and became unsafe, causing the Hokies to move two home basketball games to neutral sites.
Well, today I opened the paper to find out that a construction worker had fallen to his death yesterday at the Cassell. Dewey Wayne Duncan of Pulaski, VA, who was working outside the coliseum on the roof, stepped on a section of the roof that was covered only by a ceiling tile. The tile collapsed, and Duncan fell through the roof, falling 90 feet to his death on the coliseum floor.
The roof consists of huge arched main supports that run from side-to-side of the coliseum. These are fortified by smaller cross-members that run perpendicular to the arches. In-between, there is nothing of any substance, only a membrane that is incapable of supporting the weight of a human. It's similar to when you're walking around in your attic on the joists, but if you step between them on the sheetrock, or plasterboard, you'll fall through. That's what happened to Duncan.
Safety regulations require that the workers on Cassell's roof wear safety harnesses that will catch them in the event of a fall. Also, the outside of the roof is clearly marked with zones that are safe and unsafe to walk in. The construction company was Allen R. Neely, Co., Inc., and its owner would not comment on whether or not Duncan was wearing his harness, or whether or not he was walking in a "safe" zone.
Our condolences to Mr. Duncan and his family.