Bon Secours announces new plan for Westhampton School property

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Bon Secours announced Thursday that it has plans to build a free-standing Medical Office Building on the Westhampton School property at Patterson and Libbie Avenues in order to allow the Westhampton School and its footprint to remain intact for a joint development project.

The plan allows for a three-story, 55,000 square foot building to be constructed on Libbie Avenue between Bon Secours Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House and the Westhampton School

As a result, the Westhampton School buildings which face Patterson Avenue will not be affected or razed to accommodate the new building.

Image courtesy of Bon Secours

Bon Secours also announced it is welcoming proposals from the private sector to jointly develop the Westhampton School footprint. Bon Secours plans to give priority to any partner who can endeavor to save at least the most historically significant portion of the Westhampton School, that part which stands at the corner of Libbie and Patterson Avenues and was constructed in 1917. Any future development and its tenants must be consistent with Bon Secours’ faith-based values and must complement the health care provided on the St. Mary’s Hospital campus.

“Our team has pooled its resources at every level of the organization while working with the city of Richmond, city councilman Andreas Addison and architectural firm Baskervill and Associates to develop this innovative solution,” said Toni R. Ardabell, CEO, Bon Secours Virginia Health System. “Everyone’s hope is that this solution will bring the highest and best use to the Westhampton School property, meet the health care needs of the community and honor our commitment to the city of Richmond and the St. Mary’s Hospital neighborhood.”

Image courtesy of Bon Secours

Bon Secours announced on Dec. 15, 2016 its decision to terminate plans to build the Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing on the property and return to the original Performance Agreement with the city, which called for an MOB. Cost estimates indicated the school buildings would have to be removed. Since that announcement, Bon Secours worked with a variety of community stakeholders to develop this new plan.

Bon Secours remains committed to its rental agreement with the city of Richmond and will continue with its financial obligation to Richmond Public Schools. To date, $400,000 has been paid as part of the health system’s $100,000 per year for 10 years agreement that will ultimately total $1 million.

Bon Secours will continue maintenance and upkeep of the Westhampton School property throughout the planning and building process for the new MOB and the joint development of the school buildings.

Image courtesy of Bon Secours

“We appreciate the support we have had from Councilman Andreas Addison, Mayor Levar Stoney, local merchants, and most importantly, the neighborhood associations surrounding St. Mary’s,” continued Ardabell. “We look forward to seeking input from and working collaboratively with our community on this project.”

According to Ardabell, Bon Secours has received all internal approvals to build the 55,000 square foot MOB on Libbie Avenue. Bon Secours also plans to meet the Economic Development Authority’s desire for it to commence construction on the MOB no later than March 1, 2019, and complete construction before March 1, 2022.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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