Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Here’s how TNCC plans on spending $38 million

Rendering of Thomas Nelson Community college from I-64 (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Thomas Nelson Community College)
Rendering of Thomas Nelson Community college from I-64 (WYDaily/ Courtesy of Thomas Nelson Community College)

HAMPTON — Thomas Nelson Community College is going to replace decades old buildings.

The price tag: $38 million.

Construction for a new three-story building is expected to start in late 2022 and be ready in the spring semester of 2023.

“It’s been something that’s been in the works for quite awhile,” said John Dever, president of TNCC, adding people driving by will see a large, architectural interesting three story building he thinks will convey a strong image of the college.

The money for the project comes from the Virginia Community College System capital outlay project funding.

Dever, who has been president since October 2011, plans to retire at the end of the 2019 fall semester because of health reasons, according to the college’s news release. Denver said the following in a statement:

“In the remaining six months, I will continue to give focused attention to enrollment decline and associated issues, particularly those related to the College budget. As always, we will be working to counter the decline but also making adjustments as warranted by actual enrollment and revenue. I will also be working with the College community to accomplish the objectives that will complete the final year of our strategic plan, Focus 2020, and its three overarching goals of improving student success, strengthening community partnerships, and enhancing our capacity for excellence.”

The college plans to replace three original buildings: Diggs Hall where campus safety is located, Harrison Hall which is mainly administrative office and Moore Hall, which is a utility building with the human resource department college board and a multipurpose room.

Dever said the buildings have really reached the end of their functional life adding most buildings academic lives are 50 years. TNCC opened in 1968.

The college has had declining enrollment since 2012 which Dever noted is because of the economy and the new project is a separate matter from their capital improvement plans.

“When the economy recovers as strong as it is right now, the enrollment typically declines,” Dever said.

Cynthia Calloway, vice president of institutional advancement at TNCC, said the building will house a state of the art cybersecurity laboratory and bring 21st century classes to the college.

In addition, there will be a pedestrian walkway for students to access the building and the building itself will have a ‘360 degree’ view of the 75,000-square-foot building making it aesthetically pleasing from virtually any angle.

“It is adding instructional space,” Calloway noted. “It changed the face of our institution.”

Calloway said the college is seeking a Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Standards certificate for sustainability purposes such as adding heating, lighting and cooling in the new building.

The college is working with RRMM on the design and plans to select a contractor in the fall of 2020.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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