VSU academic center promises to revitalize Ettrick - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

VSU academic center promises to revitalize Ettrick, redevelop neighborhood

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ETTRICK, VA (WWBT) -

It's being called the future jewel of Chesterfield - a $60 million performance arts, sports and academic center, all under one roof at Virginia State University.

The new Multipurpose Center at VSU will be the size of three football fields, sitting on a piece of property the size of six football fields.

The sweeping glass and steel building will sit on top of now dilapidated homes on Third Avenue, houses that are now set to be cleared before construction begins in August.

"We're going to be able to use [the building] for a multitude of events, concerts, and academic events," said Tom Reed, director of university relations. "Local school districts will be able to hold their commencement ceremonies here, instead of having to travel to VCU in Richmond."

Reed said the Multipurpose Center will serve as the new front door of the University, as well as the centerpiece of plans to redevelop Ettrick into a college town.

The new building has been discussed since 2007, and is envisioned to not only host events, but provide space for class, sports teams, and a student fitness center.

"This is going to be the biggest 'wow' that we've unveiled over the past five or six years," Reed said.

Completion is set for May 2015. Chesterfield County and the General Assembly provided funding for the $60 million project.

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