RICHLANDS, Va. — Southwest Virginia Community College near Richlands will be the first community college in the state to offer student housing.
SVCC President Tommy Wright led local and state officials in the announcement of the $2.5 million project Tuesday morning.
“This is the first community college student housing in Virginia and is just one more example of our commitment of making our students feel welcome, appreciated, respected, and supported in their educational journey,” Wright said.
Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, said the housing is an asset.
“A lot of other college presidents will be watching because this is the only Virginia community college with a residential component,” he said in the announcement. “You’ve identified a barrier, housing and transportation, and created an asset that can strengthen your mission. With steadfast focus, leadership, and innovation, you’ve done something that is unique in Virginia.”
The first phase consists of one building that features six four-bedroom apartments and can house up to 48 students in total. Additional buildings will be considered based on student need and available funding.
The development is located on Steelsburg Highway in Cedar Bluff, directly across from the college. The land is owned by the Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation, Inc., which also approved the $2.5 million for the development.
Students are expected to be moving in by Aug. 1, in time for the fall 2022 semester. The rooms will be double-occupancy and each room has an attached bathroom. Each four-bedroom apartment will have a shared living room, kitchen, laundry, and deck. Kitchen appliances as well as washer and dryer are included. Rent is expected to be $600 a month, per student, which includes internet, electric, water, sewer and trash pickup.
“This truly is a groundbreaking event for our college,” Susan Lowe, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Educational Foundation for Southwest Virginia Community College, said in the announcement. “I would like to thank our state, local, college, and Foundation boards for supporting this project, as well as all of our donors who contributed to make student housing a reality. I would like to recognize our students who are the catalyst for all that we do.”
The Southwest Foundation is working with Bundy Architecture & Engineering of Abingdon for site and building designs, Twin Enterprises, Inc. of Richlands for construction and Russell County PSA and Tazewell County for utilities.
Current plans allow for an additional three buildings, but there is room to add more buildings if the demand comes.
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