For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2016
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
On Friday, March 11, a $2.1 billion bond agreement adopted by the Virginia General Assembly includes construction funding for a new academic building at Laurel Ridge’s Fauquier Campus.
The 40,000-square-foot building will focus on STEM-H disciplines (science, technology, engineering, math, and health professions). The estimated cost of construction is $17 million.
Last fall, Governor McAuliffe included Laurel Ridge’s science building in his proposed $2.4 billion bond package to support research and economic development projects. Laurel Ridge’s building remained one of the approved projects in the bond compromise reached by the legislature.
“We are thrilled and eager to get started,” said Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, Laurel Ridge’s President. “So many people in the Fauquier community have supported our campaign for a new building. Senator Jill Vogel and Delegate Scott Lingamfelter deserve special recognition for their advocacy and leadership at the state level.”
Before construction can begin, there are a variety of site work projects that must be completed, including excavation and bringing utilities to the building. The state does not cover the costs of site work for new construction at community colleges. Laurel Ridge is responsible for covering site work expenses at an approximate cost of $1.9 million, based on an estimate that is now three years old.
The Laurel Ridge Foundation has raised $1.75 million for the site work portion of the project, which includes the $1 million gift from the PATH Foundation, announced last month. The Laurel Ridge Foundation’s goal is to raise an additional $500,000 this year in order to have $2.25 million available for site work.
Two years ago, during the 2014 General Assembly session, Laurel Ridge’s science building was advanced to the planning phase. This phase precedes construction and involves permit approvals and building design.
It is highly unlikely that Laurel Ridge’s science building would have advanced to the planning phase without the $1 million gift in October 2013 from the William A. Hazel Family Foundation. The General Assembly required Laurel Ridge to pay for half of the planning expenses, because of the availability of this private donation.
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.