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Foundation Pulls Gift to Community College

A planned visual and culinary arts building for Tidewater Community College in Virginia is now on the back burner.

The college announced the plan to build the Patricia and Douglas Perry TCC Center for Visual & Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management in 2018. The city of Norfolk agreed to donate a plot of land, currently home to a Greyhound station in its NEON District, once fundraising was complete. It was expected to open in fall 2021.

But the major donor for the project — the Patricia and Douglas Perry Foundation — has pulled its funding, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

The foundation had pledged $2.5 million to the building. Douglas Perry wrote he was withdrawing the donation because he heard the city no longer planned to help with the project due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a letter obtained by the Pilot.

Norfolk’s mayor, City Council and city manager all told the Pilot that that assertion is not true, and the city still plans to make the land available.

It’s unclear why this has happened, but the Perrys’ foundation is also pulling back on a donation to a contemporary art building in the same district. TCC told the Pilot that the city hadn’t withdrawn its support, but there are other stumbling blocks like fundraising and declining enrollment — as well as the pandemic.

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