The former Melrose Library, across from the Lansdowne Park housing project, will become a community center, among other things, Virginia Western Community College will offer classes. Photo by Ralph Berrier Jr.
The former Melrose Library, across from the Lansdowne Park housing project, will become a community center, among other things, Virginia Western Community College will offer classes. Photo by Ralph Berrier Jr.

Virginia Western Community College invites the public to tour its new outreach location at the Roanoke EnVision Center at the site of the former Melrose Library at any of three open houses in January:

  • Wednesday, January 11; 5 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 18, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 25, 5 to 6:30 p.m.

(See background story: ‘Community center opens near Roanoke public housing to improve access to education, health care.’)

Virginia Western faculty and staff will be on hand to share information about short-term training for in-demand jobs, resources that help students outside of class (such as bus fares and a campus food pantry), applying for a Community College Access Program (CCAP) scholarship and other sources of financial aid.

The Roanoke EnVision Center is located at 2607 Salem Turnpike, N.W., in Roanoke. 

The registration code for the open houses. Courtesy of Virginia Western.

Food and beverages will be provided at the open houses. Registration is required; see the accompanying flyer with a QR code to scan and register.

The Roanoke EnVision Center is operated by the Roanoke Redevelopment & Housing Authority with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It is housed in a newly renovated building that was the longtime home of the Melrose Branch Library. It sits adjacent to Lansdowne Park, Roanoke’s largest public housing development.

EnVision Centers are supported across the United States, including six others in Virginia. However, the Roanoke location is the first college satellite to be located on public housing in the Commonwealth. EnVision Centers aim to offer HUD-assisted families access to support services that can help them achieve self-sufficiency.

Other community partners based at the Roanoke EnVision Center include: Carilion Clinic, with community health workers on-site; The Harvest Collective and Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, which have helped plant a youth community garden facing Salem Avenue; Family Service of Roanoke Valley, which provides full-time mental health wellness; and the Roanoke Financial Empowerment Center, which offers professional, one-on-one financial counseling at no cost to Roanoke residents. The building houses a training room, a classroom, a telehealth suite and client meeting rooms. 

The Roanoke EnVision Center is open to the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (540) 983-9210. 

To learn more about Virginia Western at the Roanoke EnVision Center, contact Dr. Milan Hayward at (540) 857-6680 or email mhayward@virginiawestern.edu.