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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Westhampton School, The Redskins & Bon Secours

I'll take another slight jump into politics on this blog by saying that I'm not a fan of the deal the city is offering the Redskins and Bon Secours for the proposed Redskins training facility. The Redskins pay nothing in this deal, Bon Secours gets a 60 year/$5,000 a year lease on the Westhampton property, and millions of dollars are diverted from Richmond Public Schools to pay for the construction of the Redskins' training camp. Possibly worst of all is that there's no money from the sale of the school property because of the lease (as opposed to a sale), a sneaky workaround to the 2008 City Council ordinance that states that money made from the sale of surplus school properties are "limited to new school construction and the repair and renovation of active school buildings." Also, Jim Dunn, Bon Secours' vice president of advocacy and community affairs has stated Bon Secours can't make any promises on whether they'll save the Westhampton School building. My bet is there's a good chance they'll demolish it.

Bottom line, as a city tax payer with children in Richmond Public Schools, all of this is telling me the Washington Redskins are more important to our city government than the education of our children.

Even though the Westhampton School has sat empty since Richmond Community High School moved out in 2009, I wanted to put a bit of a face on the property that the City of Richmond seems to be handing to Bon Secours for demolition.

The photos below were taken a few years ago by Little Monkeys Photo Co.




Photos courtesy of Little Monkeys Photo Co.

14 comments:

  1. I agree with you. on all fronts. what a beautiful building.

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  2. Please, city, if you have to turn a profit on this building and don't have a public use for it, turn it into apartments/condos! What a trendy location, green space around it, even on-site parking. Best of all, doing that can preserve most of the fabric of the building.

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  3. "...the Washington Redskins are more important to our city government than the education of our children."

    Everything is more important to city than education. They've made that abundantly clear. The students and teachers continue to get screwed because of Richmond's misguided funding priorities. The way they've gone about this deal shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that knows anything about how the city does business.

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  4. Surely it can't cost very much to renovate that building. I wish there was someone who would come forward to keep this beautiful building as it is.

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  5. Just another example of the asinine lack of even minimally effective leadership in Richmond. Idiots...every last one of them.

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  6. Just because a building is old does not make it historic. The building really doesn't have a use anyways. It's just sitting there rotting away. I would really enjoy watching the Redskins training camp so I really do not care about the preservation of some old school.

    We can't build anything in this city without some group complaining. Just look at the mess that is the baseball stadium. It has been 15 years and there has been zero progress made.

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  7. Why has it been 15 years of discussions over a baseball stadium that's used 6 to 7 months out of the year, and less than a year of discussions over practice fields that will be used for TWENTY ONE days a year? And to do this, we're stealing money from the public schools.

    You may not care about "the preservation of some old school," but you should care about the children of this city getting the shaft so an NFL team worth 1.5 billion dollars can get a free practice space for 3 weeks a year.

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    1. It's obvious 'Anonymous' doesn't care about the preservation 'of some old school', as they didn't absorb much from the school they attended. 'Anyways' is not a word. Anonymous, go back to school and pay attention this time.

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  8. How would one get permission to explore the inside of this school? I'm a photographer myself and I'd love to get pictures before it gets demolished.

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    1. Not sure Will, but if you find out, let me know, I'd love to tag along! Or at least post your pictures.

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  9. I'd like to know what year the school was built. Is it too late to turn this whole shady deal around?? How disappointing that St Mary's would operate with such a lack of integrity ----- obviously money is their bottom line!

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    1. I believe the school was built in 1917, and yes, I believe it is too late. The deal is done.

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  10. My oldest son walked these halls when Community HS was there. It's a shame to lose the school you once attended and it's building, never to visit or walk the halls again. My past husband's father was principal there when it was Westhampton. And you are 100% on the city and it's choices of spending. That son is now a firefighter for this city and how long do you think it's been since they got a raise? He risks his life and they are concerned about football.

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  11. I just love the way Bon Secours continues to hide behind the Catholic Church and call themselves a "Ministry" when they are using the church as nothing more than a facade to maintain their tax exempt status and not pay one penny in taxes when they are in fact a big business just like any other hospital chain. They may pull the wool over some folks' eyes with their "holier than thou" image but not mine...

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