The GO Virginia Region 2 Council recently approved a $100,000 grant to assist the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance’s efforts to secure a redevelopment plan for the Central Virginia Training Center.
CVTC, located on roughly 390 acres near the James River in Madison Heights, is set to close in June 2020. The state-run facility with more than a century of history serves residents with intellectual and physical disabilities and as of mid-October was down to 32 residents and 191 full-time employees, according to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Services, which operates the site.
In the past it has had more than 3,500 residents and, until the steady exodus of workers began in recent years, was the county’s largest employer. At full operation, CVTC had an $87 million economic impact on the region, according to a study the county had done several years ago. The loss of jobs and economic activity have led local officials to pursue a redevelopment plan to find the highest and best future use for the property.
Todd Hall, chairman of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance’s board of directors, said in a news release the $100,000 grant is critical in the planned redevelopment efforts. The Amherst County Board of Supervisors and the Amherst County Economic Development Authority each contributed $50,000 toward the redevelopment plan process and the Central Virginia Planning District Commission also contributed $150,000.
The redevelopment plan will include data collection, analytics, GIS data, public engagement and design workshops to “ensure economic prosperity of the site and the citizens of the Lynchburg region,” according to the release.
Calvin Kennon, chairman of the Amherst EDA, in the release stressed the importance of the redevelopment plan to the county and area.
“The CVTC closure has had a negative impact on Amherst County and the region and we hope that we can get the study completed so we can redevelop the property as soon as possible,” Kennon said. “This property sitting empty for any length of time will not age well and be a hardship for our community.”
Reach Justin Faulconer at (434) 385-5551.