NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Sept. 17, 2012 – Virginia Tech's solid presence in Hampton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia is now amplified by an expansion into Newport News.
Location of Virginia Tech's new center at 600 Thimble Shoals Boulevard – to be called the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, Newport News – was carried out jointly with the University of Virginia. The new center mirrors the universities' partnership in Richmond, where office, classroom, and operations are shared.
"This was truly a collaborative effort in figuring out what our needs were and matching them to a place that offered the most flexibility and promise for future business," says Melissa Lubin, who directs the Virginia Tech commonwealth campus centers in Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Newport News. "At the city center, we will be in the heart of a thriving business community on the peninsula in Newport News."
The center represents simply a physical move for the University of Virginia, whose lease was up in Virginia Beach, but an expansion into new territory for Virginia Tech. "We plan to offer customized contract training courses for business and industry, professional development for leadership and teams, meeting planning and conference management, and, of course, to expand our graduate-school offerings in this heavily populated area," Lubin says.
The Economic Development Authority in Newport News approved spending almost $100,000 on building renovations to customize the space for the universities in the 8,000-square-foot second floor of the Wells Fargo building. In addition, the building's owners are contributing almost twice that amount toward the renovation.
The Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, Newport News, will feature office space as well as classroom space. Several classrooms will be outfitted with videoconferencing equipment to accommodate students' linking to professors in other locales. Engineering, business, and education are areas of expected future graduate-study focus for Virginia Tech.
"Given that Virginia Tech and UVA have different signature programs, we prefer to leverage our strengths by working together rather than as competitors," Lubin says. "This form of cooperation works well in Richmond, and we expect the partnership to be beneficial for the community here as well."
The Virginia Beach and Newport News centers are not the only Virginia Tech outposts in the Hampton Roads area.