About New Horizons

Illuminating Minds, Igniting Passions, and Shaping Futures

Our Mission:

New Horizons Regional Education Centers trains and educates a competitive, future-ready workforce that is college and community-ready.

Our Vision:

New Horizons Regional Education Centers is a premier regional education organization that aspires to be a model for the Commonwealth and the country offering specialized programming to create empowered individuals and a world-class workforce.

Our Theory of Action: 

If New Horizons Regional Education Centers embraces a mindset where:

          1) career readiness is intentional and creative;

          2) learning experiences are rigorous and engaging, and;

          3) a culture of collaboration drives innovation;

then every student has an opportunity to explore, discover, and strengthen their skillset to be career and community ready.

Fast Facts

Owned and Operated by the six Peninsula School Divisions: Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg/JCC, and York.

Largest of the nine regional centers in the state of Virginia in both size and scope of service.

Centers include:

  • Career and Technical Education Center
  • Governor’s School for Science and Technology
  • Center for Autism
  • Newport Academy
  • Center for Apprenticeship and Adult Training
  • Youth Workforce Center
  • Family Counseling Center

Located on five sites:

  • The Butler Farm Campus is 115,000 sq. ft. bldg. on 30 acres.
  • The Woodside Lane Campus resides on 20 acres. The WL Career and Technical Education Center (Bldg A.) is a 75,000 sq. ft. bldg., and the WL Special Education Center (Bldg B.) is a 52,000 sq. ft. bldg.
  • Kiln Creek is a 15,000 sq. ft. integrated wing at Kiln Creek Elementary School
  • York Middle School is an 8,800 sq. ft. wing at York Middle School


Organizational History –  A Legacy of Regional Cooperation Since 1965

New Horizons Regional Education Center (NHREC) is operated by the six Peninsula School Divisions to provide educational services that are most efficient to implement through a regional partnership.

The school first opened in 1965 as the Virginia Peninsula Vocational Technical Education Center at the renovated Copeland Park Elementary School in Hampton, Virginia. The first high school faculty consisted of five teachers serving a student body of 85 students.

The Center began to serve adults of the community in 1966 through continuing education classes and apprentice-related instruction. Training for disadvantaged adults was made available through federal employment, and training programs were expanded and moved to the renovated Buckroe Skill Center in 1978. This provided a second campus in the Hampton area.

As years passed, the Center continued to expand to meet an increasing school population, as well as increased industry demands. A third campus was built at Woodside Lane in 1978. This new facility located in Newport News was comprised of a single 78,000-square-foot CTE center specifically built to accommodate the latest in technical programs.

In 1985, Governor Robb and the General Assembly authorized $2.5 million to construct the Butler Farm Road campus to consolidate the Copeland Park site and Buckroe Skill Center into one Hampton Campus. The new facility consisted of four buildings in a campus environment with a total of 104,000 square feet of instructional and laboratory space. At the time, the Board of Trustees changed the name from the Virginia Peninsula Vocational Technical Center to New Horizons Technical Center, which was comprised of the Woodside Lane Campus (Newport News) and the Butler Farm Campus (Hampton).

Also in 1985, The Governor’s School for Science and Technology was added to the Butler Farm Campus. This program was one of four schools in the state authorized by the Virginia Board of Education and offered college-level courses to the top science students of the Virginia Peninsula.

In 1993, the Superintendents and Board of Trustees further expanded the mission of New Horizons Technical Center by incorporating a highly successful regional special education program known as the Peninsula Area Cooperative Educational Services (PACES). The special education programs were moved to the Woodside Lane campus, and the name of the organization was changed to New Horizons Regional Education Center in 1994 to reflect the enhanced scope of services. These new special education programs served youth between the ages of 4 and 21 years. The service areas were divided into Newport Academy for seriously emotionally disabled youth and the Center for Autism. The programs have grown today into premier regional day treatment programs. A third campus site (Kiln Creek Elementary) and a fourth campus site (York Middle School), along with the Woodside Lane facility, make up what is now the Center for Autism.

In 2016, a new 52,000-square-foot Special Education Center was constructed to serve up to 200 students. This state-of-the-art Center provides a gym, cafeteria, therapy rooms, and the latest technology.