Virginia-Based Community College Begins Major Revamp

CHESTER, Va. —  Officials at John Tyler Community College (JTCC) unveiled plans for the renovation and expansion of the school’s Chester campus during a ceremonial groundbreaking event on May 18.

The project, scheduled to officially kick off this summer, involves two buildings: Bird Hall, one of the college’s original buildings, and the Nicholas Center.

Upon project finalization, Bird Hall will house the college’s Nursing and EMS/Paramedic programs, allowing faculty and students to share state-of-the-art equipment and take part in cooperative experiences that will mimic real-world interactions. The renovated Bird Hall will also feature three new science labs.

The Nicholas Center revamp includes an expansion, which will nearly double the building’s current size. The 25,503-square-foot addition will be a new workforce center operated by the Community College Workforce Alliance — the workforce development partnership between JTCC and Reynolds Community College.

In addition to classroom spaces, the new workforce center will feature a spacious, flexible lab, which can be configured to suit a wide array of training programs. The renovated Nicholas Center will also boast a large conference room that can be used for workforce training and other functions; new collaborative spaces for Tyler students and the Office of Student Activities; a larger bookstore with a café; and additional general classroom and office space.

“At the heart of Tyler’s Chester Campus renovation project is workforce development,” said Holly Walker, public relations manager for JTCC. “The renovations to Bird Hall, one of our original buildings, and the renovation and expansion of the Nicholas Center will allow us to enhance and expand our programs that prepare students for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow and that support the workforce needs of area business and industry.”

The Chester Campus renovation project is expected to cost about $34 million and take about 14 months to complete. The architecture for the renovation is overseen by the national firm Grimm + Parker (G+P), while the construction will be handled by Cleveland-based Donley’s.