Bon Secours, VCU Health, and Thalhimer Realty Partners broke ground on the redevelopment of the Westhampton School property. The redevelopment of the 1917 school will eventually house 129 apartments, a parking deck, retail and office space, and an outdoor plaza. A separate outpatient pediatric facility will be built on the property along Libbie Ave. The 1930’s building was demolished.
Historic Richmond’s position has not changed. Historic Richmond wants to see the historic Westhampton School buildings retained, adapted and reused. Until robust and thorough discussions with City Council, Historic Richmond and the surrounding neighborhoods can take place and all required City zoning processes, including, but not limited to, Special Use Permit (SUP) and rezoning, have been completed, the historic school buildings should remain in place and Bon Secours should continue to adequately secure and maintain these structures for their adaptive reuse.
For a number of years, Historic Richmond has focused on the future of the Westhampton School.
- In 2012, Historic Richmond requested that the City of Richmond consider listing Westhampton School on the National Register of Historic Places to allow for the use of historic tax credits. To ease the burden on the City of Richmond, Historic Richmond volunteered to research and write the nomination for the Westhampton School.
- In connection with the transfer of the Westhampton School property to the City’s Economic Development Authority in December 2012, Historic Richmond was asked by City Council to be part of discussions regarding the adaptive reuse of the 100-year old Westhampton School.
- In April 2013, Historic Richmond requested that the ground lease to Bon Secours include strong language that stipulates that the existing historic school buildings remain in place for possible reuse until a building permit has been secured for the overall project and financing is in place in preparation for immediate construction. Our position at that time was that these historic Westhampton School buildings should remain in place until robust and thorough discussions with Historic Richmond and the surrounding neighborhoods (as promised by both Bon Secours and City Council) could take place and the project had gone through all required City zoning processes.
- In December 2013, we were pleased to hear Bon Secours’ announcement of their intention to renovate the existing school buildings as the home of their nursing school.
- In April 2016 and again in August 2016, Bon Secours shared with us and the community more specific plans for the adaptive reuse of the historic school buildings, including renderings reflecting the preservation of the Patterson Avenue and Libbie Avenue façades of the historic school buildings.
- On December 14, 2016, we were disappointed to learn that Bon Secours plans to demolish the historic school buildings.