John Tyler Community College Celebrates Upcoming Expansion of its Midlothian Campus
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Released on May 12, 2014
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – It rests quietly now, but in the coming months, a field that sits behind the Administration Building on John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus will become a hub of activity as construction gets underway on a new academic building. On Thursday, May 8, 2014, the College ceremonially kicked off the project, known as Phase III, with a groundbreaking.
During the ceremony, Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, noted that the expansion of the Midlothian Campus is about more than bricks and mortar. “What’s more impressive than the building is the people who will use it, the faculty who teach in it and the students whose lives will be changed by it,” he said. DuBois said this impact is made possible because the community has embraced John Tyler and what it does.
Dr. Edward “Ted” Raspiller, president of John Tyler Community College agreed. “Community is our middle name,” said Raspiller. “The support we get from all the localities, chambers and people we serve is critical. We know the closer we are connected to business and industry, the more effective we can be in what we teach and how we teach it. And, these partnerships also lead to internships, mentorships and job placement opportunities, all of which benefit our students and our area’s workforce.” When talking about the new building, Raspiller pointed out that Phase III will support the community in a number of ways. It will provide specialized space for engineering classes, allowing the College to continue expanding its offerings in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and healthcare (STEM-H). The building will also house classrooms and learning areas for performing arts and for professional development, something Raspiller hopes the community will also be able to utilize. Raspiller also thanked those who helped lay the foundation for the Phase III project, including Tyler’s sixth president, Dr. Marshall W. Smith, and Sen. John Watkins, both of whom were in attendance. “What Dr. Smith and Sen. Watkins have done is take care of a lot of the heavy lifting. There is still much to be done, but they’ve made it a lot easier for us,” Raspiller said.
Mr. Art Heinz, chair of the John Tyler Community College Board; Mr. Michael White, president of the John Tyler Community College Foundation Board; Will Davis, director of Chesterfield Economic Development; and Danna Geisler, president of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, also made brief remarks during the ceremony, which was attended by representatives of the College and Foundation Boards; the state legislature; the Virginia Community College System; the companies who designed and will build Phase III; and employees from John Tyler.
In addition to an engineering lab, the nearly 70,000 square foot, three-story building will house an outdoor classroom and learning lab, a black box teaching theatre, a music room, a recording studio, computer labs, classrooms, faculty offices, student services offices, fitness and dance classrooms, and a small café. The Phase III project also includes the construction of a four-story, 351-space parking deck.
Construction on the project is expected to begin later this month, and the building is expected to be open for classes in fall 2015.
Photographs of the groundbreaking ceremony may be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/johntylercc/sets/72157644592798715/.
John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 14,000 students during the 2012-13 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates, and 34 career studies certificates. The institution also serves more than 15,000 non-credit students and over 1,200 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for Hamel Hall on its Midlothian Campus, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition.
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