Posted on Thursday, December 12, 2019

A little more than two years after groundbreaking, Eastern Shore Community College’s brand new classroom and administration building is about to open, marking a new chapter for the college and replacing a structure that dated to the mid-1970’s.

“We could not be more excited about what this new facility will mean to the Eastern Shore and the level of enthusiasm we’ve been greeted with in the community is amazing,” said ESCC president James Shaeffer. “The learning experience will be greatly enhanced with the latest technology and state of the art classrooms, and this is just the beginning. New programs and offerings will be forthcoming and we can’t wait to show the Shore what this college can mean to the future. We invite everyone to embrace the opportunities our new building will bring.”

Faculty and staff will begin moving into the new structure right after the fall semester ends, and the doors will open to students when the spring 2020 semester begins January 13.
Student government reps met with VCCS officials when they toured the construction site in early December. “We can’t wait to be in this new building,” said Gracie Diaz. “When it comes to student activities and being engaged in what’s happening on campus, this facility will accommodate so many great things.”

Shaw Matthews added, “This building will give students such an improved experience and pride in where they begin their education journey. We are all excited about the possibilities this will bring students.”

In addition to providing up-to-date classroom and laboratory spaces, the new 48,200 square foot facility will include a learning resources center, large multi-purpose space, student lounge, bookstore, electronics lab, welding and fabrication labs, faculty and staff offices, plus associated support spaces.

The new building represents an investment of $20.7 million, and college officials are eager to show it off to the community.

A yet-to-be-scheduled ribbon cutting is just the beginning; tours will be arranged for local high school seniors, parents and civic groups, and the new structure will be will be the focal point of ESCC’s annual “Heritage Celebration” at the end of February, which typically attracts crowds of more than 500 visitors.

The existing Academic & Administrative Building will be razed in March 2020.

The college made special efforts to preserve a mural painted in the old building by well-known Eastern Shore artist Willie Crockett.

Contractors were able to extract the mural from the college’s old tutoring center, for re-installation in a place of honor in the front hallway of the new structure.

To see a video of the mural transfer, click here.

To see a photo montage of the two-year construction project, click here.'

Jim Babb

Jim Babb works for Virginia's Community Colleges in the Office of Strategic Communications.

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