IDA gets old middle school

Published 9:26 am Thursday, February 25, 2016

The old middle school is now an asset of the Lunenburg County Industrial Development Authority.

County Attorney Frank Rennie told the county’s board of supervisors during its Thursday, Feb. 11 meeting that the deed transferring ownership of the building to the IDA had been recorded earlier in the week.

“That long saga is complete,” Rennie said.

IDA acquisition had been held up over a judgment on the books against the property. The matter was solved when the county reached an agreement with the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission on division of any money received through sale or lease of the property.

The county was awarded a Tobacco Commission Grant that includes securing a consultant to do a use study on the property.

“Once that study is complete, the county IDA will determine the proper next steps in development of the property,” said Beverley P. Hawthorne, Lunenburg’s director of economic and community development. “Consideration of the historical nature of  school property will be a part of the study and the final determination of the development of the real estate.”

Once the a school for African Americans, the building’s future is of crucial concern to some. Before being acquired by the IDA, the building had been the property of Concept One Academies.

“What is the best use for that property?” Hawthorne asked rhetorically. “I don’t know.”

Considering all aspects of the property, she noted, it could be used as an industrial or manufacturing site, multi-family housing, small shop and retail space or some combination of roles.

“There are always advantages and disadvantages to any course of action that will have to be considered,” Hawthorne said. “That’s why we want a professional to come in and study what will be best for the whole county.”