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Renovated veterans lounge to open on Virginia Beach Campus in December

Military-related students at Tidewater Community College will soon have a new space to call their own on the Virginia Beach Campus.

The college is renovating its veterans lounge thanks to funds from the Veterans Center Initiative Grant program, a partnership between Student Veterans of America (SVA) and the Home Depot Foundation.

That program launched last year with the goal of helping a handful of colleges improve veteran-specific space on campus, to ease student veterans’ transition to university life. Veterans, active duty military or dependent family members make up one-third of TCC’s student population; all will be welcome to use the lounge.

The ground-floor veterans’ lounge in Room 105 E of the Virginia Beach Student Center is expected to open on Dec. 1 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon.

Through the Vet Center Initiative, Home Depot gift cards in the amount of $10,000 were awarded to grantees after a competitive application and review process. TCC is one of 50 winners nationwide.

Alum and Navy veteran Matt Keane, who earned his Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design at TCC, was instrumental in designing the multi-functional space and applying for the grant initially. TCC’s Katlynn Cray, vice president of the college’s chapter of SVA, continues to work closely with staff from the Center for Military and Veterans Education and Home Depot to ensure the lounge will be inviting, inspirational and a place to recharge. Cray helped choose comfortable furnishings that include ergonomic chairs, noting, “I want this to be a home away from home for veterans.”

Wireless Internet access and a computer and printer will be available. A kitchenette will contain a microwave, coffee maker and refrigerator. A large-screen TV monitor will also be included in the space. The lounge will be handicapped-accessible and staffed.

The carpeted lounge will offer a book swap, allowing military-related students access to textbooks without having to buy them. The space will include a conference table and a recharging station for computers, tablets and phones.

The lounge will be open from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. weekdays.