Claude Moore Education Complex

109 North Henry Street, Roanoke, VA 24016

The Claude Moore Education Complex opened in November 2007. Using a blend of “old and new”, the CMEC houses the Culinary Arts degree program offered by Virginia Western Community College.


Going Green with LEED Certification

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. The Claude Moore Education Complex has earned the distinguished honor of LEED Gold status. For more information on LEED certification, visit

Energy Conservation: Expected 35% energy reduction as compared to building of similar size

Clean Air: Low odor, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, adhesives and caulks with no use of formaldehyde <> First Institutional planted roof in the Roanoke Valley

Reduced Carbon Emissions: First use of solar heated hot water in Roanoke Valley

    Water Conservation: First large scale rain water harvesting system in the Roanoke Valley

We Care About Human Health: Eliminated the use of PVC in the building – PVC manufacturing produces dioxin, one of mankind’s most hazardous toxins

Natural Resources: Recyclable carpet


History of CMEC

The Ebony Club (circa 1920) was originally built as the Strand Theater. It was there, in the early to mid 1920’s, that one of the first African-American filmmakers, Oscar Micheaux, had an office for his production company, the Oscar Micheaux Film Corporation. After producing several films in Roanoke, Micheaux moved to New York to continue producing and the Strand Theater took a new name “The Lincoln Theater”. The theater eventually became the Morocco Club and the Ebony Club, which were African-American dance clubs serving the surrounding Gainsboro neighborhood. The urban renewal of the 1960’s and 1970’s marked the decline of the central business district of Henry Street and the eventual closing of the once vibrant Ebony Club.

The “Corner Shops” were built as a retail space for the Henry Street business district in the 1950’s. These shops consisted of various neighborhood services and retail that included a doctor’s office, record shop, barbershop, and a shoe shine business, all used exclusively by the surrounding African-American community.