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The City Council on Thursday night agreed to transfer control of the former W. Townes Lea and Glenwood elementary schools to the Industrial Development Authority to better market them for redevelopment.
The Industrial Development Authority is an arm of the City and has more flexibility in developing properties.
The City of Danville has owed both schools since 2014 when the Danville Public School system released them. The Glenwood school was closed after the 2012-2013 school year, while the W. Townes Lea school was closed a year earlier. Both have remained vacant.
The former W. Townes Lea Elementary School is at 439 Cedarbrook Drive. It was constructed in 1962 on approximately 10.03 acres of land. The school building has 37,701 square feet.
A market feasibility study by Danter & Associates listed three potential uses:
The Glenwood school was built in 1948 on Halifax Road near the U.S. 29 bypass and U.S. 58. The property is on approximately 6.3 acres and the building has 28,000 square feet.
In 2015, the City sought proposals for adaptive reuse of the two buildings. Buckeye Community Hope Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, submitted plans to convert the Glenwood school into apartments and construct a second building on the property that also would contain apartments. However, the foundation withdrew the plans in early 2016 following neighborhood opposition.
In other matters, the City Council voted to:
The City Council also held first readings on four items involving amendments to the budget ordinance for various grants, including housing-related programs, fire truck equipment and programs and services at W.W. Moore Jr. Detention Home. A first reading is an introductory step required by City Code. City Council will vote on these matters at its next meeting.
Mayor Alonzo Jones issued a proclamation declaring the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. He also presented a certificate of recognition for retired teacher Vickie Holland Taylor and her 50 years of service at Danville Community College.
City Treasurer Sheila Williamson-Branch appeared before the City Council to announce her office’s 2021 accreditation.
Following the business session, met in a closed meeting as allowed by state law to discuss a prospective business or industry related to economic development and to discuss the acquisition of real property or disposition of publicly held real property.