New Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center construction progressing on schedule
Construction on the new Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton, Virginia, is on schedule and is expected to be completed in late 2021.
The Virginia Seafood AREC is at the heart of an industry that has an annual economic impact of more than $550 million, accounts for more than 5,600 jobs, and increases the state’s economic portfolio.
“We view ourselves as partners with the seafood industry, and we constantly work together to find ways to help it succeed and remain sustainable,” said Michael Schwarz, director of the Virginia Seafood AREC. “This new building and its significantly enhanced capacity will allow us to continue to do so in ways that will benefit our commonwealth and our partners for decades to come.”
The new 21,700-square-foot facility, located on the water’s edge, will have expanded seafood technologies/processing and microbiological laboratories, upgraded aquaculture, fisheries research facilities, water chemistry labs, expanded classrooms, outreach/demonstration and training facilities, and additional workstations and accommodations for visiting faculty, students, and industry collaborators.
The center supports many ongoing programs, including sustainable food system production systems; economics, marketing, and regulations programming; food quality safety and consumer education programs; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; and seafood processing, validation, and engineering.