The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center is located at 820 Bruce Street, South Boston, VA 24592, in a renovated Stem Factory Tobacco Warehouse, circa 1850. Get directions >>
The 70,000 sq.ft facility was once owned by Export Leaf Tobacco, and is situated on the banks of the Dan River in South Boston, Virginia.
During renovation, the architects retained many of the Stem Factory's interior features unique in a college building.
Inside, next to high-speed computers, plasma screens and surrounded by wireless Hot Spots, students walk past the original elevator works, fire-doors that were once activated by ropes, and 1850s bucket-and-fan humidifiers. The mix of old and new symbolizes the part that Southern Virginia and tobacco played in the early days of industrial development, and the burgeoning role the SVHEC will play in the future of the area's economy.
Two doors down from the SVHEC is another building that was integral in the tobacco era. This facility, the American Tobacco Warehouse, locally referred to as the "Bag Factory," was donated to the Halifax Educational Foundation in December 2007 for the expansion of the SVHEC. This 46,000 sq.ft facility has been transformed into the Innovation Center--the SVHEC's home for Workforce Services @SVHEC, and the Research & Development Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Energy Efficiency. Together, these two facilities comprise the SVHEC campus, in the heart of downtown South Boston's former Tobacco Warehouse District.