Danville housing authority seeking special use permit for new community center

City Council members to vote on request Tuesday

DANVILLE, Va. – Architectural drawings show what a proposed 6,000 square foot community center on Chatham Avenue across from the Cardinal Village housing community could look like.

Before it can be built, though, Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority director Gary Wasson needs a special use permit from the city.

City Council members will vote on his request on Tuesday.

"It's just an idea that we can help more people by doing this. That's really the housing authority's mission anyway. It's not just housing, but it's also to help educate and do other things," Wasson said.

The center -- with a kitchen, small basketball court, computer lab and offices -- will provide more space for the growing community events at Cardinal Village.

It will be available to the public and will hopefully, then, also help keep kids off the street. 

"We want to help the kids, show them a better path to their life, help them and support them in any way that we can," Wasson said.

Cardinal Village resident Kimberly Reese said the city needs a community center like what is being proposed.

"The kids need it. Maybe it'll bring the community together, the parents will get involved," Reese said.

Other residents also hope the community center can help kids. 

"They don't have anything to do in the evening times except stand around on the corners," said one resident, taking a momentary break from riding his electric scooter to look at the property where the center would be built. 

The center is expected to cost $1.5 million, but as of Thursday the housing authority only had about $630,000 and was looking for donations.

Wasson would like to start construction in May.

If the money hasn't been raised, he'll consider building a smaller facility that costs less that can be expanded in the future.

if you would like to help the housing authority, contact Wasson there at 434-799-8380.

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