VUU buys Budget Inn hotel for new hospitality management school

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Union University is expanding.

The college announced Tuesday they are purchasing the neighboring Budget Inn. In the works for more than a year, VUU plans to turn the hotel into a $3.2 million dollar building, with the money coming from a VUU alum.

On Tuesday, VUU President and CEO Dr. Hakim Lucas accepted the keys.

“I will always be ready to accept new keys,” he said. “Often times in the city, Virginia Union, unfortunately is invisible.”

But the times are changing and Dr. Lucas says “the city will feel us.”

The school will turn the rundown hotel into the home of VUU’s School of Hospitality Management. The building will include space with beds so students can learn the industry in a hands-on way.

“Allows the university for the first time over 40 years to grow outside of our gate,” Dr. Lucas said.

Councilman Chris Hilbert has represented the northside for the past 15 years and told 8News the move is a big step forward.

“Taking over a property that quite frankly hasn’t been our shining star and turning that into a beautiful building,” he said.

It’s all the vision of the university’s chairman, Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, who says the move is just the beginning.

“Together we are going to move this institution forward with great energy and great power,” Dr. Robinson said.

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