Construction Kick-Off Ceremony for Shihadeh Innovation Center | Winchester Star

Winchester, Va. — Two years ago, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe came to Winchester to announce that the future Career and Technical Education (CTE) center being created at the former John Kerr Elementary School would be named for Emil and Grace Shihadeh.  Loudoun County resident Karen Schaufeld, the Shihadehs’ daughter, donated $1 million to the project with her husband Fred in honor of her parents. On Monday, the Schaufelds were back in Winchester to celebrate the groundbreaking for the Emil & Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center.

The $13.7 million innovation center is slated to be completed in fall 2020. Three academies will be housed at the center – they will focus on information technology, professional skills, and health sciences.

At Monday’s construction kick-off, it was announced that Valley Health System — the parent company of Winchester Medical Center and five other hospitals in the region — is donating $125,000 to name one of the academies the Valley Health System Health Sciences Academy.

A joint venture with Lord Fairfax Community College and local industry partners, the Shihadeh Innovation Center will be a hub of workforce development for the community – preparing both Winchester high school students and community members to meet the demands of the regional job market.

The late Emil Shihadeh, who worked as a welder and was the child of Palestinian immigrants, taught his son-in-law Fred Schaufeld that the world needs more than just investment bankers. “He goes, ‘It needs welders, it needs nurses. It doesn’t need another trillion dollars in student loan debt,’” Fred Schaufeld said.

Partnerships with Lord Fairfax Community College and local industry leaders have helped make the center possible for the school division. Students and adults will benefit from the facility, with Lord Fairfax Community College providing instructors and equipment for certification and credit-bearing courses.

The 46,400 SF career and technical education center was designed by VMDO Architects and is being built by general contractor Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.

— Source: Winchester Star. Read the full story by Anna Merod