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May 12, 2017

Barkman family donates $250k for LFCC building

A lot of it has to do with the value the college has for the community and our family. How many communities have a college in their backyard?
— Joel Barkman
Hazel Hall
• What: 40,000-square-foot, two-story building with classrooms, conference center and labs for science, technology, engineering, math and health.

• Where: South of “The Barn” on LFCC’s Fauquier campus, 6480 College St., Warrenton.

• Total cost: Estimated $20 million.

• Funding: $17 million from state. LFCC Foundation has raised almost $3 million for local share.

• Construction begins: Early 2018; groundbreaking planned for fall 2017.

• Completion: Possibly fall 2019.

• Website: Click here.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Lord Fairfax Community College officials Thursday announced another large gift for construction of the Fauquier campus science and technology building, slated to open in 2019.

Golden Rule Builders founder Joel Barkman and his wife Patricia will donate $250,000 toward local construction costs of Hazel Hall. The building’s conference center will bear the Barkman family name.

“A lot of it has to do with the value the college has for the community and our family,” Mr. Barkman said. “How many communities have a college in their backyard?”

Two of his children, Dawn and Devon, have thrived on the local campus, he told the audience of about 50 friends, Golden Rule employees and LFCC supporters at Thursday’s announcement.

“I’ve been able to continue to work since it’s closer to home,” said Dawn Barkman, who will gradate with her associate’s degree Saturday.

The Barkman Family Conference Center will seat 275 for meals and more for theater-style presentations, said LFCC President Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, adding the space will address a community need.

Mr. Barkman donated $100,000 last year as part of the total $250,000 pledge. He plans to give the balance over four years.

Golden Rule Builders “understands how important a skilled workforce is in the community,” Dr. Thompson-Stacy said.

Mr. Barkman in 1987 started the Catlett-based, design-build firm that specializes in remodeling, additions and custom homes.

His background includes construction, electrical work and farming. Mr. Barkman grew up on a 500-acre dairy and cattle farm in Ohio. Three of his seven brothers still own and work the farm.

In the 1980s, before the establishment of the Fauquier campus, he leased “The Barn” and surrounding land to store farm equipment and raise cattle.

“It has a lot of nostalgia,” said Mr. Barkman, who moved to Fauquier 31 years ago.

In 1988, real estate investor Bob Sowder donated the barn, money for its renovation to house classrooms and a couple of acres to Germanna and Lord Fairfax community colleges, which started a satellite campus.

Mr. Sowder and his wife Janet later gave more land and financial support, which helped the Fauquier campus attract state government funding and full status as part of the community college system. Middletown-based LFCC took over the campus as Germanna expanded to Fredericksburg from Locust Grove in Orange County.

Recently renovated, “The Barn” serves as a meeting space for the college and community groups.

Construction of the 40,000-square-foot Hazel Hall — for science, health and technology — should begin early next year. The college plans to conduct a groundbreaking this fall.

In addition to the conference center, the two-story building will house a nursing skills lab, science labs, engineering and fabrication labs, classrooms, a board room, faculty offices, study spaces and a lounge.
Virginia’s General Assembly in 2016 approved a $2.1-billion bond package that includes $17 million for construction of the building.

But, the state does not cover the costs of site work for new construction at community colleges. The LFCC Foundation has raised almost $3 million for that portion of the project.

“There will be other expenses,” LFCC Foundation Executive Director Liv Heggoy said. “The fundraising campaign is never truly over, but we are happy with the success to date.”

The local share includes a $20,000 donation from Mr. Sowder, the most consistent supporter of the college, this year, and a $1 million gift from the PATH Foundation, announced in February 2016. The Hazel family pledged $1 million toward the building in October 2013.
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WLS55 · May 12, 2017 at 3:24 pm
Great job Joel, your faith and service to this community has shaped you and those around you~ Your family obviously shares your vision and will continue to enjoy the "Golden Rules" of your dedication and benevolence.
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