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Memories of the TCC campus

With preparations under way to demolish the 200,000-square-foot Beazley Building on the former North Suffolk campus of Tidewater Community College, the TCC Real Estate and Educational Foundations are working to collect and preserve memories from folks who spent time there during the 40 or so years it existed as the TCC Frederick Campus.

Thousands of students and hundreds of instructors and other faculty and staff spent countless hours on the campus during that time, when TCC represented the only viable community college option for many in the area.

But learning wasn’t the only thing that took place on the campus. Many in the area will recall long hours fishing from the banks of the James and Nansemond Rivers where they converge at Pig Point. Youth soccer leagues spent evenings and weekends there in the latter years. Children (and a few adults) took advantage of the wide-open spaces there to fly kites. Dog obedience courses were popular. There was even a music festival.

“It was very much a community center for a lot of different activities,” said Terry Jones, the final provost on the campus and the one who aided with the relocation of it to the new Portsmouth campus at Victory Crossing Business Park in 2010.

That Portsmouth campus has been a boon to Tidewater Community College, located as it is much closer to the primary population it now serves in the core of Hampton Roads. And the old campus in Suffolk, though it sits mostly empty today, will one day be a boon to Suffolk, as efforts are under way between the college and city officials to come up with a development plan that will provide the greatest benefit to the most people.

But for many from this area, the Suffolk site will always be “the old TCC campus.” If you’re one of them, and if you’ve still got cherished memories of that place, take a moment this week to share those memories at www.tcc.edu/frederickcampus. The TCC folks are especially interested in old photos from the facility.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this site in the future, but we’ll never forget what it meant to so many of us in the past.