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Bon Secours announces intent to demolish circa-1917 Westhampton School

The group says renovation of the buildings for a planned nursing school are too expensive; plans to build a new building on the site.

Trevor Dickerson

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The fate of the historic circa-1917 Westhampton School at Libbie and Patterson is in question, following an announcement by Bon Secours that renovation of the building to house a planned nursing school would be much more expensive than building a new two-story medical office building in its place. The existing site consists of two buildings. The first was constructed in 1917; a second was built around 1935. However, the school may not survive to see its centennial.

The hospital system has been leasing the property from the City of Richmond–a deal that was tied to the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Unsurprisingly, the plan is not sitting well with many neighbors.

From the RTD:

Bon Secours Richmond Health System has abandoned its plan to save the Westhampton School building at Patterson and Libbie avenues in Richmond’s West End.

The health system said Wednesday that as the cost of the project continued to increase, it decided instead to move its Memorial College of Nursing to the Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center campus in Hanover County. Originally, the college had planned to occupy the vacant school building.

“We couldn’t get (the project) down much under $43 million, whereas if you built a college of nursing freestanding on green space, it would cost $15 million,” said Toni Ardabell, CEO of Bon Secours Virginia Health System and of Bon Secours Richmond Health System.

Katie Demeria has much more info on the initial plans, reaction from incoming City Countilwoman Kimberly Gray, and adjacent neighbors.

You can expect this process to be a lengthy one and there should be plenty of opportunity for public input on the project in the coming months. We’ll follow this story as it continues to unfold.

Read more here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.