Laurel Ridge preparing for opening of new Luray-Page County Center

For Immediate Release:
December 11, 2020

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

As 2020 comes to a close, Laurel Ridge is shutting the doors of its first home in Luray, 334 N. Hawksbill St., and moving into its new purpose-built Luray-Page County Center. Friday, Dec. 18, will be Laurel Ridge’s last day at the Hawksbill site.

That site, a former Wrangler jeans factory, opened up as the Luray-Page County Center in 2006. While the building was sold at auction a couple years ago, Laurel Ridge was able to continue its lease. However, the building wasn’t designed for instruction, and had issues common to older facilities – leaky roof, frequent power outages and inadequate parking.

Thankfully, the Jenkins family – Russell and Elta Rae, plus their son and daughter-in-law Rodney and Karen – donated about 8 acres of land behind the Luray Wal-Mart to the Laurel Ridge Foundation. Community donations, as well as state and grant funding, have helped cover the costs needed to build the new center.

The 13,000-square-foot center, named the Russell A. and Rodney A. Jenkins Hall, will house classrooms, science and health science labs, a trades lab, board room and student commons areas.

The college is “so excited” about the new center, said Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser, a lifelong Page County resident.

“This new center allows us to offer several new programs we’ve never before been able to offer in Page County,” said Dr. Blosser. “Starting in February, the heavy equipment operator and HVAC programs will be offered in the new Pioneer Bank Trades Lab. Next fall, Laurel Ridge’s new Physical Therapy Assisting program will begin, as well as many other health professions, trades, and college transfer programs.

“Residents of Page County and surrounding counties will have even more opportunities because of the expanded classroom and lab space in Jenkins Hall. We are looking forward to welcoming all of our students into the new instructional spaces.”

Laurel Ridge Workforce Solutions is excited to also be offering a medical assistant program and phlebotomy assistant program starting in January, said Director of Marketing Guy Curtis.

“Students will learn in an amazing, state-of-the-art facility gaining hands-on skills to face today’s high-demand jobs,” he said. “Using labor market information for Page County and the immediate surrounding areas, we knew launching these programs would help students find immediate employment opportunities regionally.”

The Laurel Ridge Educational Foundation is offering a unique way to support the new center while giving a lasting gift. The foundation has established its first-ever donor brick campaign. Personalized engraved bricks will be displayed in the courtyard of Jenkins Hall. Depending on the size, the bricks are available for personalization for $125 and $250, and will support the foundation’s Luray-Page County Center Building Fund. To order, visit www.laurelridge.edu/brick.

An information session on trades programs being offered at Jenkins Hall and other college sites will be held Jan. 16, 8 a.m. to noon. Learn more or enroll in the session at https://lfccworkforce.com/event/trades-information-session-6/

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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.

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