Albemarle Supervisors Discuss New Museum, Rt. 29 Improvements

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The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors is working with the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society to repurpose a historic landmark. Supervisors are also voicing their concerns about the Route 29 improvement projects.

At their meeting Wednesday, the board talked about what to do with the county's old jailhouse. It's been sitting idle for more than 30 years. Now, it could become a museum.

Supervisors say they had the option to turn county courthouse number five into a parking garage for the courts.

Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society President Steven Meeks says his solution will do more to benefit the county.

"It's an opportunity to work with the county to help fulfill one of its strategic missions, which is to preserve historic resources in the county, help preserve resources that they own, and this will help preserve resources that up until now we really haven't had much of a use for,” said Steven Meeks, Historical Society president.

Supervisors agreed Wednesday to have their staff work with Meeks on developing a plan to make the building a museum.

Later in the afternoon, supervisors met with Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne, who fielded questions about the upcoming Route 29 improvement projects.

One of their biggest concerns was traffic at the Rio Road intersection. Layne assured them that Virginia Department of Transportation is taking that into consideration in its plans.

"Making sure people can access their businesses, access their daily lives and activities, that will be a key concern. That probably is not going to be the lowest-cost contract to the commonwealth, but it's best to get the road constructed and not impact people's lives significantly,” said Layne.

Supervisors also wanted to ensure jobs would be created from the projects in the local community, and Layne assured them that would be one of the benefits.

“Governor McAuliffe has issued a directive on using small business, local businesses here, minority businesses, so that will be considered,” said Layne.

Those concerns and more will be discussed during Thursday's meeting of the Route 29 Project Delivery Advisory Panel in Charlottesville.

Layne will also be visiting several other localities to get their input on the projects.

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