Courtesy of NAA:
The newly constructed Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) is more than just a building. The new $10 million complex in Hampton reaffirms Virginia Tech’s 47-year-old commitment to supporting the future of the Virginia seafood industry — an industry whose economic contributions exceeded $1 billion for the commonwealth in 2019.
“We’re here to serve the Virginia seafood industry and working to identify and respond to emerging needs and opportunities has always been the primary driver,” said Virginia Seafood AREC Director Michael Schwarz at the facility’s grand opening on November 30th. “The enhanced capacity of this new building will allow us to grow programs in ways that will benefit our stakeholders for years to come.”
Stakeholders, industry partners, and state and local officials attended the grand opening celebration at the Historic Hampton Post Office in Hampton. A few blocks away, tours showcased the new building and its laboratories, classroom, and aquaculture facilities, where researchers are conducting fish feed trials with ingredients like high-protein grains.
The new Virginia Seafood AREC and the Coastal Collaborator initiative in Hampton will expose the public and businesses in the region to Virginia Tech research to support coastal industries and communities. The new facility is one piece of the broader economic boom occurring downtown due to increased development interest, investment, and growth.