News Flash • City Council hears updates on resiliency, commu

May 23, 2024 — The Hampton City Council on Wednesday afternoon heard updates on the city’s Natural Infrastructure Resiliency Plan, the economic impact of Virginia Peninsula Community College, and plans to market and promote three facilities in the Coliseum District.

 The presentations were part of the Council’s regular work session in chambers at City Hall. 

 VPCC President Touwanna Porter Brannon and vice-president for finance and administration, Steve Carpenter, presented documentation showing that the school’s enrollment has increased by 7 percent in the past year, after more than 10 years of declines. Currently, more than 10,200 students are enrolled in credited and non-credited courses. The school also showed significant increases in high school dual enrollment students and in enrollment for FastForward workforce development courses.

 Carpenter cited a study showing that 78 percent of VPCC graduates remain in Virginia to work, well above the figures for the state’s four-year colleges.  “Overwhelmingly they are staying here in our own region,” he said. “So they are not only getting an education, but they are giving back to the community.”

Porter Brannon spoke about the school’s “expanding footprint,” including plans to demolish three old structures and replace them with a new Student Success and Campus Administration Building. 

The Council also heard a presentation on plans to use grant funding to facilitate the branding and marketing of properties around the Hampton Coliseum, Hampton Roads Convention Center and the Hampton Aquaplex. The presentation stressed the need for more business-class hotel rooms, restaurants and other amenities in the immediate vicinity to increase tourism and events.

Representatives of the Resilient Hampton initiative provided an update on the city’s Natural Infrastructure Resiliency Plan to deal with the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. The goal of the plan is to review the city’s codes and ordinances, to identify strategies to protect our natural infrastructure, and to find potential partners and funding sources to implement these strategies. The presentation emphasized concrete things the city — and individual residents and businesses — can implement. 

Resilient Hampton will host an open house tonight from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the Mary W. Jackson Neighborhood Center, 231 Lincoln St. Residents can stop by the open house to learn about the plan and offer input.

At the evening legislative session, the Council heard a resolution regarding Hampton’s leaving the Hampton Roads Regional Jail Authority and joining the Western Tidewater Regional Jail Authority. The Hampton Roads Regional Jail, located in Portsmouth, closed to inmates last month and will shut down all operations, with resources moved to the Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk.

 Before the legislative session, the Council held a ceremony recognizing this year’s valedictorians and salutatorians from Hampton City Schools:

 • Bethel High School valedictorian Daniella Brown and salutatorian Trinity Robinson

• Hampton High School valedictorians Jaliyah Gary-Williams and salutatorians Amir Stanley and Christine Dang

• Kecoughan High School valedictorian Bera Koklu and salutatorian Anna Brady 

• Phoebus High School valedictorian Christian Washington and salutatorian Katalia Bowie

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