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Town approves permit for LU events center

The Farmville Town Council has unanimously approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) requested by the Longwood University Real Estate Foundation for the construction of a new convocation and events center next to Willett Hall in the center of campus.

Farmville Interim Town Manager, Dr. C. Scott Davis said during the Dec. 11 meeting of the council that, “This is going to be an asset for the community and used by the community.”

In April Longwood University announced the most significant gift in the institution’s history, a $15 million contribution from philanthropist Joan Brock ‘64, which will go toward the construction of the convocation and events center and will be known as The Joan Perry Brock Center.

According to a release from Longwood University, construction is set to begin in early 2020.

The Joan Perry Brock Center will provide a gathering space for campus events and ceremonial traditions such as Convocation and the Honor and Integrity Ceremony, as well as serving as a much-needed location where the student body can assemble.

“This center will be a beautiful, elegant addition to the center of our campus, and its benefits will redound to countless future students as well as our broader college-town vibrancy,” said Longwood President W. Taylor Reveley IV.

In an April press release from the university, Brock said she wanted to continue repaying a debt to Longwood for its formative impact on her own life and for introducing her to those who remain her closest friends.

“I’m pleased that it’s going to be a focal point for the whole community to interact, not just Longwood,” said Brock. “It will be a rallying place. Those shared experiences are very important, locking arms with your neighbors, going forward together with a common goal. I’m delighted just thinking about the opportunities on campus that students will be able to walk to. And it’s going to be such a bonus for the broader community — speakers, concerts, shows. It’s going to give the whole region an opportunity to come together. President Reveley has been such a great catalyst, visionary, and strategic thinker for the school, and Longwood is really a place that is moving forward.”

The new building will be located on the current site of Longwood’s tennis courts, which have been relocated a few hundred yards to the south, off Brock Commons but still on central campus. Initial design schemes call for a passageway to run between Willett and the new building, creating a convenient route connecting Brock Commons and the Curry and Frazer residence halls.