Dating back to 1994, The Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation, Inc. (SVHEF), has a rich history to share. Our team consists of a thirty-three member Board of community leaders, chief elected officials, and volunteers. The Foundation is organized and operated exclusively to promote and enhance continuing educational opportunities for citizens in the Southern Virginia region.

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1994

Halifax County Board of Supervisors resolves to establish a college committee

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterIn 1994, the Halifax County Board of Supervisors and South Boston Town Council passed a resolution establishing the College Committee, charged with studying the feasibility of establishing a four-year college campus in Halifax County and South Boston in conjunction with several area colleges.
1997

The HEF is formed

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterDoing extensive research into the most effective options available to the community, the College Committee modified its initial vision in order to better meet the needs of its citizens. From the committee, the HEF, (Halifax Educational Foundation) Inc. was created. Established in 1997, the HEF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the goal of affordable and accessible educational opportunities for citizens in the Southern Virginia region.
1997

John R. Cannon and the family of the late Bob Harris donate the former Export Leaf Tobacco Warehouse located in downtown South Boston, Virginia

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterThe Foundation initiated a successful capital campaign for the renovation of the former Export Leaf Tobacco Warehouse. The local community demonstrated strong financial support for the fund raising campaign with over a 75 percent voter approval on the November 1998 ballot for the proposed sale of up to $1.75 million in general obligation bonds. Additional funding for the project was obtained via donations or grants from local government, citizens, businesses, industry, Community Development Block Grant, USDA Rural Development, Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, Longwood University, Southside Virginia Community College, and Danville Community College. No direct general fund support from the state of Virginia was used for this project.
2001

Renovation of the former Export Leaf Tobacco Warehouse is completed, and The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is born

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterIn 2001, the Foundation renovated and furnished the Export Leaf Tobacco Warehouse in downtown South Boston and created a 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art educational facility. At the ribbon cutting ceremony on August 19, 2001, the Center changed to a new future and a new name, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC).
2001 - 2003

An additional 5,700 square feet of space is renovated for workforce development

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterWithin three years of the ribbon cutting for the SVHEC, the HEF renovated an additional 5,700 square feet of space in the tobacco warehouse for an Advanced Technology Lab for workforce development. Through grants and partnerships, this lab utilizes high performance manufacturing technology.
2005

The SVHEC expands with additional parking spaces, classrooms and office spaces

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterIn 2005 via contributions and grants, the HEF constructed 160 additional parking spaces and expanded the parking lot to 300 spaces. The following year an up fit of 5,500 square feet of unfinished space in the West Wing provided additional classrooms and office space.
2006

Eva Harris and family donate the 45,000 square foot former American Tobacco Warehouse (ATW) to the HEF

Former ATW Warehouse, Innovation CenterIn December 2006, Eva Harris and family donated the 45,000 square foot former American Tobacco Warehouse to the HEF. Shortly after, renovations of this new space, adjacent to The Prizery, began.
2011

Renovation of the former ATW is completed and The Innovation Center is born

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterRenovation of the Innovation Center, formerly known as the ATW building, was completed and classes began in the fall of 2011. From the open academic spaces that allow student collaboration, the dedicated digital photography studio, to the acrylic whiteboards and outdoor classroom, every inch of the Innovation Center has been designed to create the ultimate learning environment. The Innovation Center also houses the SVHEC's signature Business of Technology & Design programming with courses in Digital Art & Design and Product Design & Development and the R&D Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Efficiency as well as Workforce Services.
2016

SVHEF Acquires the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Building

Workforce Services Suite, Innovation CenterYears ago, when the SVHEF first envisioned a college campus in South Boston for Halifax County and citizens of the Southern Virginia region, the re-purposing of the buildings on the hill overlooking the Dan River became part of that dream. For the SVHEF, securing the community arts building, which is set squarely in the middle of the campus, insures for the community that this campus will continue to thrive with education and arts opportunities for many generations to come.

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