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Groundbreaking Held for Jefferson City Center

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The historic Jefferson School on 4th Street NW in Charlottesville is one step closer to becoming a thriving city center.

It's a project that's been years in the making. Dozens gathered at the school at around 11 a.m. to celebrate the start of construction at the Jefferson City Center.

Planners are hoping to keep the historic features of the old African-American school while adding in state-of-the-art upgrades for modern businesses.

Once completed, the city center will be home to the Jefferson School for African-American Heritage Center. It will be a complex that tells the story of Charlottesville's Jefferson School and its alumni.

Planners will also fully renovate the Carver Recreation Center, providing a fitness area for people living in the surrounding neighborhoods. The center will also include a two-story parking garage and park-like grounds that will be open to the entire community.

Planners say there will be a variety of other tenants that will make the center their home but the main goal is to make the space a diverse and multigenerational atmosphere for the community to enjoy.