College officials and government dignitaries gathered Thursday on Northern Virginia Community College's Woodbridge Campus to celebrate the opening of the new Arts and Science Building and to kick off construction on a new workforce center.
The new building is the culmination of many years of planning. And with roughly 600,000 jobs projected to be created in the Northern Virginia region in the next decade, the building’s opening comes at an opportune time.
“These jobs will require front-line workers with a postsecondary credential,” said NOVA President Robert G. Templin, Jr., one of many speakers at Thursday’s celebration. “The days when a high school diploma was enough to get a job and earn a living wage are long gone.”
Dr. Templin said that the facilities like the ones being built on the Woodbridge Campus would go a long way toward “helping the Northern Virginia region reach its full capacity.”
The new Arts and Science Building opened its doors to students and faculty on August 21. It adds 84,000 square feet of teaching and learning space on campus. The building includes eight computer classrooms, a black box theater, a 60-seat lecture hall, two art studios, an art gallery, a computer graphic design studio, three science labs, a CISCO computer lab, 11 general-purpose classrooms, a photography studio with a darkroom, faculty offices and multiple group study spaces. In addition, the campus’ Gordon Cook Library has a new 7,300 square-foot location in the Arts and Science Building.
The building also includes several sustainable and environmentally-friendly features including a geothermal heating and cooling system, low-emitting glass, two green roofs, sun shading, day lighting, and a rainwater cistern. The college expects the building to be certified as LEED Silver, and is optimistic that it will qualify for LEED Gold certification.
After a ribbon cutting for the new Arts and Science Building, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the future Workforce Development Center. That project is slated to begin construction in November and be completed in fall 2015.
Woodbridge Campus Provost Sam Hill thanked the Prince William County Board of Supervisors for their $1 million commitment toward the construction of the project. “This financial support is another example of the Board of Supervisors commitment to the business community and the economic development of Prince William County,” Hill said.
The Workforce Development Center (WDC) will be NOVA’s first comprehensive facility dedicated to supporting the business community by meeting the training needs of its area workers. The WDC will also be a major asset in supporting the economic development goals of the Prince William region and Northern Virginia.
The 50,000-square-foot building will house three computer training rooms, three general-purpose training classrooms, a cybersecurity lab, a wet lab, and a telework center. The center will also include an 8,000-square-foot, multi-purpose space for formal events, exhibits, and training activities.
“I’ve been to a lot of these types of ceremonies,” said Glenn DuBois, Virginia Community College System chancellor. “Buildings are impressive and this one is very, very impressive.” He said that what impressed him the most is that the new Arts and Science Building will allow students to realize their “American Dream” and that there is faculty and staff ready to help them achieve that dream on campus.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.