Thursday, 09 May 2019 13:15

Construction begins on Richmond Community College downtown campus

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The first phase of construction has begun on the new downtown Rockingham campus of Richmond Community College.  The first phase of construction has begun on the new downtown Rockingham campus of Richmond Community College. Russell Parker - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Progress continues on the downtown campus for Richmond Community College as the first steel beams of the building were erected Wednesday.


“We are excited for this first phase of the construction to start on the Robinette Building,” College President Dr. Dale McInnis told the RO. “This is another step forward to many great things happening for our county and the city of Rockingham. We anticipate the completion of this new college facility and bringing students, faculty and staff to downtown Rockingham.”

The building is named for Kenneth and Claudia Robinette — who chair the Richmond County Board of Commissioners and the Richmond Community College Board of Trustees, respectively — and house the Leon Levine School of Business and Information Technology.

The school is named for the founder of Family Dollar and the namesake Levine Foundation, which granted $1 million for the project. Levine got his start in the retail business at The Hub, his family’s shop in downtown Rockingham and created the bargain basement which eventually led to the formation of Family Dollar.

The groundbreaking, or rather wall-breaking, ceremony was held Sept. 24 of last year prior to the demolition of two landmark buildings — the former clothing store owned by Mike Long and furniture store owned by longtime Sheriff R. W. Goodman.

Construction of the campus is being handled by John M. Campbell Company out of Monroe.

The contractor vowed to work through the federal government shutdown earlier this year even though, at the time, Rockingham City Manager Monty Crump was unable to process payments because the loan is backed the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

City and county leaders expect the campus to draw new businesses to the downtown area.

Classes are expected to begin at the new campus in January.