Blue Ridge Community College Patton building; sunrays stream through fog behind the building

In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, Blue Ridge Community College drives local workforce development efforts and empowers students to reach their professional summits.

In 2022, the College built a $23.4M state-of-the-art facility in Henderson County which houses 6,200 square feet of flexible industrial space called Flex Labs. Inside the Patton Building, these two adaptable labs are upfit with gas, water, air, and electrical connections required for industrial and customized training operations. The two labs are connected through expansive bay doors, but can be utilized separately through unique entryways. Adjacent are two furnished offices and a fully-equipped classroom with presentation technology. Just down the hall, the production-ready Stephen D. Wyatt Auditorium provides seating for 105, a green room, and a dressing room.

wide view of the Flex Lab at Blue Ridge Community College shows industrial area with work tables

“Blue Ridge Community College, Henderson County, and the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development had the foresight to plan an economic development space to serve the training and staging needs of new or established employers,” said Dr. Scott Queen, Blue Ridge’s vice president for workforce and economic development. “In designing and building these labs, we envisioned the tailored training needs of manufacturing, industrial, machining, fabrication and other start-up or expanding operations.”

Wide door in the Flex Lab at Blue Ridge Community College

While nimble for industrial applications, the labs are designed to be flexible, used in myriad ways over the years to serve local and regional employers. Uses can include customized training of employees on new equipment or machinery, operational support during a business’ capital project, as an incubator for an up-and-coming start-up and more.

Blue Ridge is currently taking applications from organizations seeking three to twelve month leases of its Flex Labs. Other arrangements may be possible based on availability of labs and operational needs.

For questions and more information, please contact:

Dr. Scott Queen
squeen@blueridge.edu
(828) 694-1728

Flex Lab at Blue Ridge Community College

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A pipe cutting machine sits on the floor in the corner of one Flex Lab, showing a garage door in the background.