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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Editorial: NCI plan takes giant step forward
Sunday, April 29, 2012
The New College Institute’s plans for a new building took a giant step forward last week when Martinsville City Council decided to transfer ownership of the Baldwin Block to NCI.
NCI wants to build a $10 million to $15 million building on that block to house academic classes, advanced manufacturing training and a social hall that also can be used for teaching. With drawings of the project in hand, the next step was to take ownership of the site from the city so NCI officials can start to seek funds for the building.
The council’s action will show potential funders that the city supports this project and was willing to contribute a prime piece of uptown real estate for it. And judging by comments made at a public hearing Tuesday, neighbors of the site also favor the project as a fitting use for the historic land.
This community show of support for higher education should help NCI make its case to groups and organizations which can help pay for it. It demonstrates that Martinsville and Henry County recognize that higher education is a critical part of preparing local residents for the future. Providing that education in a new, properly equipped, visually exciting building also should catch the eye of potential donors, educators and students alike.