August 6, 2013
Preservation Virginia announced today that it plans to offer to the Page County Board of Supervisors the opportunity to negotiate an option for the purchase of the Luray Graded and High School.
Built in 1881, the Luray Graded and High School served as a school until 1931. Since that time, the building has housed county functions. Page County plans to demolish the two-story historic building in order to build a parking lot for its new administration facility. In May, the Luray Graded and High School was named to Virginia’s Most Endangered Sites list because of its historic integrity and potential for reuse. Since that announcement, local community advocates have asked the Page County Board of Supervisors for more time to examine the opportunities for reuse of the historic structure and the potential positive impact on the local economy.
Under this proposal, Preservation Virginia is asking the County to open up negotiations to secure an option of up to one year’s duration to purchase the Luray Graded and High School building. The option would allow Preservation Virginia, in collaboration with local supporters, developers and architects, time to investigate the feasibility of renovating the building and returning it to productive use for the Town of Luray and Page County. Preservation Virginia would use the Revolving Fund Program to undertake this work.
Elizabeth Kostelny, Executive Director of Preservation Virginia said, “The leadership of Preservation Virginia, the supporters of the Save Our School Foundation and a growing number of interested citizens want to work with the Page County Board of Supervisors to find a solution that meets all our mutual goals.” Communities all across the Commonwealth have benefitted from adaptively reusing similar structures through the use of Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits which returns investment in the local community. She continued, “Virginia is distinguished by the unique historic character of our buildings, downtown districts and neighborhoods. Ensuring their preservation with adaptive reuse makes good business sense in the long run.”
Preservation Virginia is sending a letter of inquiry to the Page County Board of Supervisors in advance of their work session on Tuesday, August 6.
About Preservation Virginia
Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence, and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners. For more information, visit www.preservationvirginia.org, find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter @preservationva.
About the Revolving Fund Program
The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Historic Preservation Trust Fund was created in 1989 by the Virginia General Assembly. In 1999, the fund was transferred to Preservation Virginia and became the Revolving Fund Program. The Revolving Fund Program is the only program in Virginia dedicated to saving endangered historic property state-wide.
Through the efforts of the Revolving Fund, endangered significant historic properties are saved from demolition or neglect by acquisition through purchase, option or gift. Acquired properties are placed under protective easement with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, ensuring their protection from demolition and subdivision in perpetuity. Properties are sold to new owners who agree to undertake the necessary rehabilitation. All proceeds generated from the sale of Revolving Fund Program properties are returned to the fund to replenish the reserves which enables future acquisitions.