What is the Town Hall’s future?

Published 11:58 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Kenbridge Town Hall, a historic site that was formerly Kenbridge High School, could potentially see a very different future from its present.

The property was placed for sale earlier this year. Containing an auditorium, two stories, one acre of land, classroom space and invaluable amounts of history — having been built in 1922 — the building currently serves as the site for the Kenbridge Community Center, the Kenbridge Police Department and the town hall, where monthly council meetings are held.

The property is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register as Kenbridge High School.

That the town is selling the property and does not plan to vacate the building, even considering a negotiation with potential buyers for the police department and town hall to continue to rent space, is a positive action.

Due to lack of funds, lack of interest in buying or renovating or many other reasons, it can be an unfortunate reality that buildings can be left unused and abandoned. In these scenarios, the buildings wear away, and their histories disappear with them.

It can be easy to imagine that when the building on 511 E. Fifth Ave. was Kenbridge High School, its students witnessed history — from World War II to the Great Depression to the prejudices that enabled segregation and existed after segregation was ruled unconstitutional to dizzying technological advances that we in the town and the U.S. are still experiencing.

Whether the building continues to be the site of the town hall, the community center and the police department or whether something entirely new is included, we at The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch hope that the building will continue to see change, that it will continue to create opportunities for both young and older members of the town and that its past history will be considered just as meaningful as its future history.