Situated alongside almost 800 acres that are part of property that Virginia Tech owns in Patrick County, the Reynolds Homestead is miles from any town. However, staff at the Reynolds Homestead provide opportunities for cultural and educational enrichment.
Their job has been made easier with the addition of a 15-passenger bus funded by a $50,000 donation from long-time patrons Ray and Nancy Dietz of Martinsville.
Trips with a cultural theme had once been a staple of programming at the Reynolds Homestead, but charter buses for the excursions were expensive. Owning a small bus allows the center to charge lower rates.
“We were looking for a good opportunity,” said Julie Walters-Steele, director of the Reynolds Homestead, “something people had expressed interest in and that could also be a profit center for us.”
The Reynolds Homestead has also set up college campus tours for Patrick County High School students. The free tours serve students who may not otherwise have the resources to visit colleges.
“A lot of our students are going to be first-generation college students,” Walters-Steele said. “Their parents are working parents who don’t have a lot of flexibility in being able to take leave.”
As a result, many students accepted to college had never set foot on a college campus.
Upcoming tours include Ferrum College, Radford University and Virginia Western Community College.