Lynchburg area colleges, universities brief city officials on reopening plans

Coronavirus

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Five of the six colleges and universities in the Lynchburg area briefed city officials Tuesday regarding their plans for reopening.

Students at Sweet Briar College will begin arriving on-campus on Wednesday where only some classes are online.

“Largely, it will be in-class instruction, which is possible because we have very low student-faculty ratio,” said Meredith Woo, President of Sweet Briar College.

The University of Lynchburg is in a similar scenario. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, the President of the University of Lynchburg says, “We’ve actually done quite a bit in maneuvering, using the ballroom, for example, for some of our slightly larger classes. We are limiting the length of our classes because the data shows that time frame is really important.”

Other schools are being more cautious. Central Virginia Community College will be mostly online.

“We are bringing small groups of students back to campus for hands-on courses, for labs and for workforce training, but those situations represent the only exception to the general rule,” says John Capps, President of Central Virginia Community College.

Randolph College will be completely online. President Bradley Bateman says the ability to test people without symptoms wasn’t robust enough to reopen safely.

“We realized we needed to step away from opening campus this fall. We would only contribute to making the situation in Lynchburg worse,” said Bateman.

The President of Virginia University of Lynchburg sent a statement that was read by Lynchburg City School Board Chairman James Coleman, reading in part, “We do want to let everyone know that VUL will be engaged in online learning only for the fall semester.”

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