USEDA provides funding for new college facility - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

USEDA provides funding for new college facility

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New construction provided through funding by the U.S. Economic Development Administration will begin for a new college facility in Nicholas County. 

The project is tentatively slated to begin in spring 2014.

The new facility will be leased by New River Community and Technical College to provide workforce education.

Getting the deal done

In order to get the project done, Marshall Washington, president of New River Community and Technical College, said there was collaboration among numerous organizations, such as the Nicholas County Building Commission, the city of Summersville and the Planning and Development Council.

"We are excited about that kind of partnership shared between the many organizations," Washington said.

According to Washington, the completed facility will have approximately 15 classrooms, two computer labs, conference and study areas and space for faculty and staff.

Details of lease agreement

The new facility will be leased by New River Community and Technical College on a 55-acre site in the Glade Creek Business Park.

The Nicholas County Building Commission, which owns the Glade Creek Business Park, will receive a $13.1 million low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to build a 48,300-square foot facility with flexible training space. 

The Building Commission will own the building while entering into a lease agreement with New River Community and Technical College to implement programs in welding, line service mechanics, commercial driving license, hospitality and tourism, culinary art and renewable energy and mining, in addition to current programs the college offers.

The lease agreement is a capital lease agreement. After 38 years, ownership of the building will be transferred from the Nicholas County Building Commission to New River Community and Technical College.

According to Fred Reed, Summersville city recorder and part of the Nicholas County Building Commission, property in the Glad Creek Business Park is usually sold.

"This is the first time we've leased," Reed said.

Impact on Nicholas County

Reed said construction means growth not only for New River but also for Nicholas County.

"The impact is going to be tremendous," he said.  

Not only will the new facility prepare the community to be more workforce ready, but it also will provide an increase in jobs and a monetary influx, Reed said.

The influx of funds will be like a "shot in the arm to the county," he said, and will provide added employment of facility and maintenance staff.

With the help of a "very aggressive schedule," Reed said the anticipated project completion date is mid-fall 2014.

Helping hand

Working at the request of the Nicholas County Building Commission, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., secured a grant modification from the EDA. A grant modification was required because the EDA had provided funding for the original construction of the industrial park. Occupancy by a community college was not included in the original grant agreement.

Rahall also worked with USDA-RD officials to ensure timely processing of the USDA community facilities loan application and sought funding through the appropriations process to ensure a robust funding for the USDA-RD Community Facilities program.

"This new facility that New River will lease at Glade Creek Business Park is part of a larger effort I have been advocating to increase access to workforce training programs through our state's community colleges and create jobs in growing industries like advanced manufacturing, transportation, health care, alternative energy and high technology," Rahall said. "New River and our state's other community colleges are expertly equipped to respond to the changing needs of our economy and retool our workforce as job opportunities arise.  

"Modern manufacturing and its workforce stand on a solid foundation of education, and my goal is to ensure that the federal agencies understand the value of the economic growth ideas put forward by our state's community colleges and work to establish strategic partnerships focused on the all important mission of job creation."