Germanna announces $15 million expansion in North Stafford
From Germanna Community College:
Germanna Community College and its Real Estate Foundation have announced a major expansion in Stafford County with the purchase of its new $15 million Stafford Center of Educational Excellence at Center Street.
Two buildings, named the Barbara J. Fried Center at 10 Center St. and the Kevin L. Dillard Health Sciences Center at 25 Center St., totaling over 74,000 square feet, will meet Germanna’s space requirements in Stafford for the foreseeable future, said Jack Rowley, president of GCC’s Real Estate Foundation. “This purchase will help Germanna to double student enrollment in the critically needed Allied Health Services – especially nursing,” he said. In addition, Germanna will be expanding cybersecurity, IT, general education, and dual enrollment programs.
In 2018, Germanna leased an 18,921-square-foot building in Stafford that more than tripled the space available at a 5,000-square-foot GCC center opened at Aquia in 2009. The new facilities more than triple that existing space.
“Germanna can move forward with this expansion because of major community donors” who have donated $4.5 million, Rowley said. “There is very strong student need and local support to have this major educational center in Stafford, which has the largest population of any locality served by Germanna.”
Not counting noncredit workforce training students, Germanna has 3191 students from Stafford this year and that number is projected to grow to 3693 by 2025.
The Germanna Educational Foundation’s Real Estate Foundation worked closely with Next Tier Connect to make the deal work. The Next Tier group of companies engages in real estate development with a focus on mission-critical assets. Next Tier Connect at Quantico is a 270,000-square-foot Mission Critical campus that supports Marine Corp. Base Quantico and the surrounding community.
“We are delighted to have GCC as part of our campus and we look forward to acting as a long-term partner in support of their growth,” Sam Peskin, managing director of Next Tier said.
David Spiewak, Next Tier senior managing director, said: “The proximity of our campus to Marine Base Quantico’s provides a natural location for defense contractors serving the growing cyber security and law enforcement community, and GCC’s investment significantly elevates our ability to support this vital work.”
Germanna President Janet Gullickson said: “Public-private partnerships like this one put Germanna right where it wants to be, in the middle of meeting business and industry workforce needs. We are grateful for our partnership with Next Tier Connect allowing us to expand to meet the demands for high-value credentials.”
Classes will begin at the new Germanna Stafford campus by Fall 2024, Gullickson said.
Construction to modify the buildings to meet Germanna’s needs will begin soon.
“Stafford has the largest population in Germanna’s service area,” Rowley said. “We will now be better positioned to serve county students with an affordable, high-quality, college education. With Germanna’s focus on Allied Health Service and cybersecurity, students will be prepared for skills-gap careers in health care and government”
“I’m extremely excited for the Educational Foundation,” said Bruce Davis, executive director of Germanna’s Educational Foundation and GCC Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Advancement. “This is the single biggest transaction and project ever undertaken by the foundation and will benefit the college and thousands of students over many years. This project would not have happened without the dedication of Jack Rowley as president of our Real Estate Foundation, Ben Keddie of Coldwell Banker Elite Commercial Real Estate, George Snead of Parrish Snead Franklin Simpson PLC, and Tony Farland of Community Bank of the Chesapeake. It also would not have happened without the wonderful generosity of Adam and Rhonda Fried, Mary Jane Pitts O’Neill, Kevin Dillard, Mary Washington Healthcare, and the Stafford Economic Development Authority.”
The Stafford EDA’s Howard Owen, the owner of Stafford Printing, said: “As a Stafford businessman, it’s exciting to see Germanna expand into North Stafford. I know it has been a long time coming and the perseverance of the college and community volunteers is to be applauded. I’m also proud that the Stafford County Economic Development Authority was able to play a role in the expansion, and I hope the partnership between Stafford County and GCC continues to grow.”
“Stafford County is so thrilled to welcome Germanna to the Griffis-Widewater District,” said Griffis-Widewater Supervisor Tinesha O. Allen. “We’re excited about all the wonderful educational and employment opportunities the college will bring to our students and residents. Germanna’s commitment to Stafford is part of a very fruitful and important relationship between our residents and the college. More Stafford students attend Germanna than any other college, so being able to have a campus located right in Stafford has been a long time coming. We are so grateful to the leadership of Germanna for making this campus a reality and we look forward to Germanna being a leader in providing IT, Cyber security, and health care related training and educational enrichment to our community.”
Germanna Dean of Nursing Patti Lisk said the expansion will be a shot in the arm to the nursing and health sciences program because Stafford has the largest number of applicants to the nursing program, many of whom find it difficult to travel to the Locust Grove Campus for classes due to the large geographical size of the GCC footprint.
Eileen Dohmann, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Mary Washington Healthcare, said both Stafford Hospital and Mary Washington Hospital will benefit from the increase in Germanna nursing and health sciences graduates generated by the new campus.
25 Center Street will be devoted to Germanna’s highly regarded Nursing and Allied Health Technologies Programs, the largest in the Virginia Community College System and one with consistently high National Council of State Boards of Nursing exam pass rates.
Within the Germanna Service area, Nursing and Allied Health labor shortages match the rest of the nation at 18 to 25 percent. This shortage alone is severe enough for the expansion of health programs of study, Davis said. Additionally, the service area labor shortage will worsen when the 450,000-square-foot Veterans Administration Clinic opens in late 2023 or early 2024.
Gullickson noted that Germanna has committed to doubling its number of nursing and related graduates over the next three years in response to this critical shortage. GCC has also committed to serving community health needs by featuring a second Robert C. O’Neill community wellness center in the new Stafford facility. The other one will be in the new Locust Grove facility and both are due to the generosity of Mary Jane Pitts O’Neill
In 2019 Germanna Cyber Security was named a “Center of Excellence” by the NSA and Homeland Security. Gullickson said GCC cybersecurity interns are in great demand with Stafford-based defense contractors The Center Street location of these buildings is directly adjacent to the Quantico Marine Base and the FBI Academy and dozens of defense contractors.
A James R. Clapper Center for Cybersecurity will be located in the Barbara J. Fried Center at 10 Center St. Clapper, a former Director of National Intelligence, is an occasional lecturer at Germanna.