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In October, the Council unanimously endorsed the Center, concluding that a need exists for a center to provide workforce training, technology training and undergraduate and graduate education and continuing education.
The assessment pointed out that the workforce development could not be served by VWCC alone.
Enrollment at the Graduate Center has quickly reached almost 1,000 adults and the lack of space has become an inhibiting factor for new students and programs.
1992 – VWCC commissioned a study to qualify the need for a new building on campus for its business Center.
1997 – Virginia Western Community College’s capital request for .8 million to build its Business Center received a number one priority from the Commonwealth. establishing the Roanoke Higher Education Authority. It is based on a model used by the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Authority in Abingdon.
The purpose of the Authority is to manage the facility, schedule use of space and provide centralized services to increase cost efficiency of the Center. 1997 – The General Assembly asked the State Council for Higher Education to conduct a programmatic assessment of the need for the Education Center.
The study made three conclusions: 1997 – Roanoke College, Hollins University and Ferrum College joined the effort.The Center also will make the entire Roanoke region even more competitive and attractive for new business and industry.” 1998 – The architectural firm of Echols-Sparger (in association with Ayers/Saint/Gross) is selected to design the renovation of the building to contain the Center. Information is gathered to determine the exact space needs of all 15 institutions.Schematic design of spaces to accommodate the combined usage of the classrooms is undertaken.Construction documents are completed and construction is begun in October of 1999.2000 – Construction is substantially complete in August of 2000 allowing the members to occupy the building and begin classes for the fall semester.