RappU moving into larger digs; security training to start in Amissville

The Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors approved special exception permits for two county “schools” at this month’s regular meeting, including RappU, which will move from its Sperryville Trading location occupied for two years into larger classroom space at the Sperryville Schoolhouse.

In addition, Risk and Strategic Management (RSM), a security training company based in Manassas, will begin operations in October on its 84-acre property on Shurgen Lane in Amissville.

Both requested permits fall under Rappahannock County Code Section 170-36B that defines technical schools with more than 25 students.

“RappU has been leasing space at 11669 Lee Highway since January 2017, and our two year lease expires at the end of this year,” said RappU founder Doug Schiffman in a letter to Zoning Administrator Michelle Somers accompanying his permit application.

“As we expand the number of courses we offer, along with the anticipated partnership with Lord Fairfax Community College, we find that our current facility has become inadequate.”

In an email Monday, Schiffman explained: “Some of the RappU Lifelong Learning classes will be at the new site beginning in October. The workforce training classes probably won’t move over until December. Lord Fairfax Community College classes will finish the semester at the current location.”

RSM, meanwhile, began its application process in February when it sought a special exception permit for a private school and outdoor security training at a proposed 39-acre site at Old Kennels, off N. Poes Road and Crest Hill Road.

In March, RSM’s co-owner Mike Blyth presented his initial application for a permit to operate from the Old Kennels property. The application, originally described as being for “active shooter training,” met with considerable opposition from the public and the planners, who said they needed more specifics.

Blyth returned in April with a 50-page tabbed document offering specifics, yet he was still turned down.

At the planners’ June meeting, however, Blyth said that he had taken the previous comments to heart and had found an alternate location, this time on an 84-acre parcel on Shurgen Lane in Amissville.

In an email Monday, Blyth wrote: “As a small business we are delighted to have been approved to conduct training within Rappahannock, and appreciate the support of the Zoning Board and our new neighbors on Shurgen Lane.

“We look forward to providing the invaluable training the NGO community needs to be able to work safely in remote and challenged operating environments, while also contributing economically to Rappahannock businesses, and to school safety and security programs as part of our social responsibility program.”

Blyth expects to begin operations at the site in October.

About Patty Hardee 258 Articles
Writer, consultant, actor, director, recovering stand-up comic, Patty covers the county’s courts and other topics of interest for Rappahannock News. She lives with her grape-growing husband Bill Freitag in Flint Hill.