Patrick & Henry Community College (P&HCC) will hold a dedication event on Tuesday, December 7,
at its training facility in Stuart, unveiling the new name which will honor two major donors.
The facility, located at 221 Wood Brothers Drive (the former Food Lion building), will officially be named The Gerald L. Baliles and Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. Learning Center during the event that begins at 2 p.m.
A brief reception and a tour of the facility follow.
The college officially began using the space in 2019 to expand its offerings in Patrick County. However, the facility has gone unnamed.
After the ceremony, the college anticipates the facility will be unofficially referred to as the Baliles & Reynolds Learning Center.
P&HCC is dedicating the space to commemorate the donors who have not only made the expansion possible but have also been avid supporters of the college’s efforts to create accessible education in Patrick County.
“It is a banner day for Patrick County,” Ron Haley, chairman of the PHCC Foundation Board, said. “As the chairman of the PHCC Foundation and a Patrick County resident, I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the impact that these two men have had in my hometown. Education is the bedrock of personal and community growth, and these men have championed education in this county.”
“Former Governor Baliles and Major Richard S. Reynolds, Sr. have both been incredible supporters of all that we do,” P&HCC President Greg Hodges said. “Because they believe in the power of education and because they invested so much of their time, their attention, and their philanthropy efforts into raising Patrick County’s educational attainment levels, many lives have been changed for the better. They believed in the people of Patrick County, and they believed in what education could do for them.”
The dedication ceremony will also be one of the many events associated with the Smithsonian’s “Crossroads: Change in Cultural America” exhibit coming to Patrick County December 4 through January 9. The Smithsonian’s exhibit highlights many initiatives that have had a great impact in the Patrick County area – and many of those initiatives are ones that Balilies or Reynolds were involved in. Supporting P&HCC’s expansion and mission to serve Patrick County students was one of the many ways Baliles and Reynolds have worked to make Patrick County a better place.
Of the Reynolds family legacy, Stewart Roberson, the chairman of the Patrick County Educational Foundation said, “the Reynolds’ family impact upon Patrick has been deep and transformational for generations. We have this additional opportunity to celebrate their effect on the lives of Patrick citizens- past, present, and future- through the naming of the Center.”
The dedication of the Learning Center “is a fitting tribute to the statesman and the person, particularly as we embrace the values and vision that Governor Baliles promoted for the Patrick County Education Foundation and the place he proudly called his home,” Roberson said.
For the last year, P&HCC has used the facility to house its Electrical Groundsman, Commercial Driver License, and Mechatronics programs –all of which were identified as high-demand career fields by local business leaders and county officials.
The training space is roughly 5,000 square-feet. It is situated directly across the street from the college’s initial Patrick County facility. The space and its dedication are possible due to a partnership of the PHCC Foundation and the Patrick County Education Foundation.