Jefferson School City Center

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The Jefferson School building in downtown Charlottesville is undergoing commercial redevelopment to preserve the school and use it as a community resource providing cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. The Jefferson School property will be known as the Jefferson School City Center. The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and the City’s Carver Recreation Center will be the center’s two anchor tenants. The center is expected to be home to various other tenants that will compliment the school.[1]

Main article: Jefferson School

Current Developments

Ambox notice.png This article documents a current event. Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

The partnership sought to rezone the school back in March to allow for restaurants to be opened on the site.[2]The application to rezone the school was submitted on Wednesday, May 19th.[1]

The Jefferson School Community Partnership purchased the building and surrounding land from the city for $100,000. The City contributed $5.9 million to the project, and the Partnership borrowed the remaining funds from Union First Market Bank. The final site plan was submitted in June 2010. [3]

The city is also seeking individually protected property status[4], which would require any exterior changes to come before the Board of Architectural Review.

A groundbreaking took place on September 14, 2011[citation needed][3].

Managing Partners[5]

African American Heritage Center

It will be located in the earliest built portion of the structure, located on the north side facing Commerce Street. The Heritage Center will honor the history of the school through its redesign of museum-quality exhibition space and offer programs in the arts, dance, language, and computer science. Congressman Tom Perriello is in the process of shepherding an $850,000 earmark to help pay for the center's construction[6].

Carver Recreation Center

On the south end of the building, Carver Rec hosts a gymnasium with roller skating and volleyball programs, a kitchen, craft room, dance room, gymnastics room and "kids zone". Carver is one of several recreation centers run by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Other tenants will include the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, a satellite campus of Piedmont Virginia Community College, the Piedmont Family YMCA, Common Ground Healing Arts, Literacy Volunteers Charlottesville/Albemarle, and an outreach clinic through Martha Jefferson Hospital[4].



  1. 1.0 1.1 Lynn, Bridgett. "City Council Contributes $5.8 Million to Jefferson School Project." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 21 May 2010. Web. <>.
  2. Tubbs, Sean. "Planning Commission Discusses Zoning Matrix, Jefferson School Rezoning." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. 29 Mar. 2010. Web. <>.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Web. "Jefferson School begins its new life.", Fitzgerald, Sharon C., Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, September 14, 2011, retrieved September 14, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Web. Jefferson School may get local historic designation, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, December 12, 2010, retrieved December 13, 2010.
  5. Jefferson School City Center: Managing Partners. Web. 13 Aug. 2010. <>
  6. Web., Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, October 20, 2010, retrieved October 20, 2010.

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