New on-campus arena scheduled to open in 2023

FARMVILLE—Longwood University has selected a management partner for the Joan Perry Brock Center, a convocation and events center, set to open in fall 2023. CENTERS, a professional management firm that specializes in facility and operations management for colleges, universities, and other non-profit entities, will lead day-to-day operations at the event space.

The transformational project will serve as a venue for university and community events, lectures, and concerts, and home court for Longwood athletics. Construction began in May 2021 and the building is scheduled to be complete by fall semester 2023.

In addition to serving as a home for Longwood’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and university events, the JPB will be a destination that will draw visitors to historic Farmville. The construction of the 3,000-seat arena is being funded in part with the largest gift in Longwood’s history, a $15 million contribution from philanthropist Joan Perry Brock ’64.

“This is a project that will benefit the entire community,” said university spokesman Matthew McWilliams. “Already our basketball programs have enormous support from community members, and as the space is used for concerts, speakers, graduations, and other large-scale events, it will become an integral part of Farmville and beyond.”

The project was designed by Frank & Lohsen Architects working in collaboration with RRMM (executive architect) and AECOM (sports/venue architect) and Skanska is building the 72,000-square-foot facility. CENTERS has been hired to manage the day-to-day operations of the JPB, including staffing, booking and scheduling of events, building and equipment repairs, capital improvements, and annual budget forecasting.

Longwood University is the third-oldest public college or university in Virginia, and one of the 100-oldest colleges in the United States. Founded in 1839, its roots are in teacher preparation but has grown into a full-scale, highly residential liberal arts university dedicated to the mission of preparing citizen leaders. In 2016, Longwood hosted the national Vice Presidential Debate between Sen. Tim Kaine and then-Gov. Mike Pence. Longwood sits in the heart of downtown Farmville, a consequential place in U.S. history, where the student-led Civil Rights Movement took shape with the historic 1951 walkout at Moton High School, and where the Civil War drew to a close as Ulysses Grant first proposed surrender terms from a home in town as he pursued Confederate forces westward.

CENTERS is a professional management firm that specializes in facility and operations management for colleges, universities, and other non-profit entities. Their management portfolio consists of campus centers that encompass sports venues, recreation and wellness facilities, student centers, performing arts venues, and more. CENTER’s current portfolio consists of 10 other universities across the country.