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Funding in Place for Jefferson School Renovations

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It's a major milestone for the Jefferson School in Charlottesville. Millions of dollars are now in place and renovations can soon begin to the city's first African American High School, built in 1926.

The group in charge of the renovations says a construction fence will surround this property in a matter of days. Then the bulldozers will come in and the work will get started. The Jefferson School Community partnership acquired the 3.9 acre site on Friday from the city of Charlottesville.

On Monday, the final loan papers were signed to finance the $18 million dollar project. The money is from a combination of private and public funds. The building is more than 74,000 square feet and will house the African American Heritage Center, among other things.

Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos said, "This is sort of the best of both possible worlds. There will be some economic generation there. There's going to be community services as well as a culture aspect and the rec center that is there now will not be lost."

The Jefferson School closed in 2002 and it was used by public works for office space until a month ago. A groundbreaking ceremony will happen in early September. Organizers are hammering out some final details before announcing the date.

Click here to view the plans.

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