ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) announced the beginning of a new phase of construction for the school’s Advanced Technology Center for Workforce Development.

According to a release from VHCC, Phase IV of construction began on June 5 and includes the exterior, concrete slab work and early signage for a state-of-the-art technical education center.

Design and construction planning for the college’s new addition was completed in 2020 in conjunction with the VHCC Foundation, and work met significant delays due to supply chain and inflation challenges seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since primary construction began, the inflation costs on those materials have grown between 28% and 77%,” the release said. “Affirming the decision to start the project while fundraising has been ongoing.”

After securing over $6 million in donations and grants, the college now remains roughly $2.5 million away from covering the center’s full cost. To reach that goal, the school launched a “Close The Gap” initiative to raise funds from the community.

Once enough funds have been raised, the school will begin Phase V construction to finish mechanical, interior, landscaping and building occupancy projects.