Germanna Community College is holding an open house at its new Stafford County center Saturday.
Germanna Community College is ready to show off its new facility near the Stafford County Courthouse and Stafford Hospital.
An open house is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Germanna’s Barbara J. Fried Center, 124 Old Potomac Church Road. Visitors can meet faculty members, advisers, counselors, students and staff, and learn about degrees and offerings at the new center. Those interested in attending the school can register for classes.
“We are extremely excited that we are finally in a position to serve the Stafford community better,” Germanna President Janet Gullickson said. “This will be a full-service center where we will offer financial aid and counseling, and programs in cyber security, business, and health. We anticipate the bulk of these programs being completed right there in Stafford.”
Veterans’ service representatives will be on hand to answer questions about certifications and other professional development programs available to those re-entering civilian life. Information sessions will discuss getting started at GCC, with a program showcase and a special session focused on courses in nursing and health technologies.
“We’ll have two dedicated IT rooms with a full-service cyber-security program at that site,” said Gullickson. “To support the employment needs of Northern Virginia and Quantico, people won’t have to travel north for training. Also, we have brand-new laboratory facilities for health and science programs.”
Gullickson said the new facility will provide a way to better serve Stafford County school system students who wish to participate in dual enrollment with Germanna.
“We hope, moving forward, that we can work much more closely with the schools to help students matriculate to the center and earn college-level class credits while simultaneously completing high school,” she said.
Registration for summer classes in the new building began in February and continues through Tuesday.
“I think students are excited with the new location,” said GCC registrar Cheri Maea. “Word is getting out about all the new programs we’ll be able to offer here, and I think people are excited they won’t have to go all the way to [the Fredericksburg GCC campus] anymore.”
GCC has provided courses in Stafford since 2009, albeit at a much smaller location in Aquia Park. That facility will close, with all students and operations moving to the new campus.
“There, we only had capacity for up to about 600 students,” said Maea. “Now we’ll truly be able to service thousands—all the potential students in Stafford County.”
The new building, with 18,921 square feet of space, will also be a temporary facility. A land transfer of 25 acres approved by the Stafford County Board of Supervisors in January to the GCC Real Estate Foundation—donated by HHHunt for the purpose of building a permanent center for the school—allows GCC up to 20 years to complete the project. That center will be located nearby at 143 Jumping Branch Road.
In 2015, Atlantic Builders founders Adam and Rhonda Fried donated $1 million toward a GCC center in Stafford. The company is also funding a scholarship program at the school. Both the temporary facility and the new building, expected to be built in the next decade, will carry the name of Barbara J. Fried, Adam Fried’s mother.
GCC serves a total of 13,000 credit and noncredit workforce training students at campuses in Spotsylvania County and Locust Grove, with centers in Culpeper, Stafford, Central Park and Caroline County.