vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Germanna recognizes EDA, says Stafford Campus is coming soon

Tonight, the 2012 Philanthropist of the Year was named by the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation.

That philanthropist wasn’t one person, though.

It was the Stafford Economic Development Authority, a seven-member board appointed by the county supervisors. The recognition was part of the Foundation’s annual dinner, held at the Fredericksburg Country Club.

In May, the EDA awarded Germanna a matching challenge grant of up to $1 million specifically for the establishment of a permanent campus, which officials hope will aid workforce and economic development. That means that for every dollar that is donated, the EDA will add the same amount.

Currently, classes are held in the Stafford County Center at Aquia Park. But high enrollment has made GCC already outgrow the space, which has a capacity of 1,000.

Germanna has hoped for years to build a facility in North Stafford, but no site has been selected yet. The college must also meet the $2.5 million local funding requirement for the state to fund the rest of the campus.

“The EDA has worked hard to enhance the higher education offerings in Stafford, and Germanna offers a diverse selection of courses to help college students and working professionals advance their careers,” Don Newlin, EDA chairman, said in a statement. “We look forward to our continued work with Germanna to ensure their long-term success.”

The Stafford EDA has also donated $75,000 to the construction of a GCC Automotive Program facility. It is expected to be completed next spring.

Germanna, which has a presence in Spotsylvania, Locust Grove, Stafford, Culpeper and Dahlgren, has long-range plans for a Caroline County Center. At the Fredericksburg Area Campus, a third academic building is in the works and expected to open in March.

Last year, Culpeper Regional Health System was named the 2011 Philanthropist of the Year.