Charlottesville's restored Jefferson School is officially open as a city center where non-profits and education groups can interact with the community.
The center welcomed people of all ages for a grand open house Saturday. Everyone that came out to Saturday's celebration seemed to know each other. With warm greetings around every corner, it's clear this restoration was a close-knit community effort.
"Jefferson School is my Alma Mater," said Irene Burton, Martha Jefferson Hospital volunteer and Jefferson School Alumni.
Irene Burton is a proud alumna of the Jefferson School's class of 1955. She revisited the building Saturday to celebrate its transformation into the Jefferson School city center.
"Being here today, it just brings back so many beautiful memories of all my teachers, my fellow students and all the wonderful things I learned that has really carried me on my journey," Burton said.
Martha Jefferson's new Starr Hill Health Center is one of the center's nine partners. The nonprofits look forward to working with each other.
"I remember the years that there was nothing going on at Jefferson and to see it be turned around as this vibrant center and include all of the nonprofits that are here offers us lots of opportunities to collaborate," said Jacklene Martin, Martha Jefferson Hospital community outreach.
Opportunities the Jefferson School community partnership group had in mind as it pieced together the building's restoration.
"This school provided us a chance, today, now, to all come together and have a place where we remember the past but we move forward together into the future," said Bitsy Waters, member of the Jefferson School Community partnership.
A future full of promise for alumni like Burton.
"It's something for everyone in the school and I love the diversity of it," Burton said.
The Jefferson School community partners will continue managing the building for the next five years. They hope the city center will continue to grow into a huge community hub.