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President, mayor, provost dedicate Virginia Beach Student Center

President Edna V. Baehre-Kolovani, Provost Michael Summers, Mayor Will Sessoms, Jr., and numerous special guests celebrated the dedication of the Tidewater Community College Virginia Beach Student Center at a ceremony on Feb. 26.

“This is truly a unique building, not only in its design and construction, but also in the way it creates a locus for the Virginia Beach Campus by linking the various parts of the campus together around a central structure, one that will enrich student learning and engage students in daily campus life,” Baehre-Kolovani said.

President Baehre-Kolovani and mayor Will Sessoms join special guests, administrators and students for the ribbon cutting.
President Baehre-Kolovani and mayor Will
Sessoms join special guests, administrators
and students for the ribbon cutting.

The 89,000-square-foot Virginia Beach Student Center, which opened on Jan. 13, is a multipurpose building offering dining options, study areas, a fitness center and gaming rooms. Built over a retention pond, the three-story center offers picturesque views of the campus. A nearly 8,000 square-foot bookstore comprises two-thirds of the center’s first floor, while the remainder of that level holds a student activities suite for one-stop shopping for student services and a campus and community resource center designed to assist students with housing availability, community health resources, financial services, child care and transportation.

“Isn’t this a wonderful facility?” asked Sessoms, recalling his time as a TCC student when the Virginia Beach Campus was largely the barracks at Camp Pendleton. “It’s been wonderful to see this campus blossom.”

Bruce Meyer, the chancellor of the State Board for Community Colleges who is also a TCC alumnus, is hopeful the student center will increase retention. “By having facilities like the Joint-Use Library and the Student Center, it encourages students to stay here for the full two years,” he said.

Virginia Beach Student Center Dedication

Joe Piscitelli extended greetings from the TCC College Board, noting, “TCC is one of only a few community colleges to plan for and build student-centered facilities such as this.”

The Virginia Beach Student Center is one of four student centers at TCC and the largest. The Norfolk Student Center opened in May 2011. The Portsmouth Student Center opened on Jan. 13 and held its official dedication on Feb. 14. The Chesapeake Student Center is scheduled to open later this month.

The ceremony concluded with students Frank Dixon and Tiffany Brosseau reflecting on the value of a student center.

“Just as this building stands proud in the center of campus, so will its impact stand proud in the center of our experiences for decades to come,” said Dixon, president of the Virginia Beach chapter of the Student Government Association.

Added Brosseau, “TCC has assisted me with many aspects of my personal and academic life, but now that the student center has opened, I feel like the Virginia Beach Campus is my home.”