Farmville 10 years from now
Published 10:25 am Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Most people don’t see it coming — most people don’t think about it. Twenty years ago Harrisonburg and James Madison University were in the same position that Longwood University is today. Dr. Ronald Carrier, an astute business president, initiated the revenue bonds to build dormitories and let the students rent them. This method of financing started the rapid growth in all colleges and universities. Certainly being on I-81 helped but providing student housing forced the growth. What else did James Madison (University) do? They became a University and they went Division 1 in sports.
Longwood University and Farmville are and will experience the same growth. It’s location in the center of Southside Virginia with easy access with U.S. Routes 460 and 15 is a positive. Other supporting factors are the regional hospital, outstanding men’s college (Hampden-Sydney), the attraction of historical High Bridge and yes — Green Front Furniture. Regardless, the growing University will drive the growth by itself.
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Should Farmville be concerned? Longwood University is going to grow so where and what businesses and support facilities should be attracted? Does Farmville want to be proactive to identify markets and locate the businesses where they should? Of course we know where they can locate but there is an opportunity now to develop a master plan, (Longwood University has a master plan) so that Farmville becomes a model city. You may laugh but all cities started out as towns. It’s better to be proactive and part of the future than an observer.