BEDFORD, Va. – A massive fire damaged the historic Bedford Middle School building Thursday morning, but developer Dave McCormack still plans to bring it back to life.
“Just because there has been a fire here, even though it looks devastating, that doesn’t mean that it’s destroyed,” McCormack said. "We’re going to fight to bring this back.”
McCormack and his company, Waukeshaw Development, intend to turn the old middle school into lofts, similar to how his company transformed the old William Byrd High School in Vinton. The plan has already been approved by Bedford Town Council, and McCormack has already rehabilitated two other historic buildings in the town.
“It’s really devastating for the town because the stories and the history are really pent up in these buildings,” McCormack said.
He still has every intention of rehabilitating the old Bedford Middle School despite the fire, because he believes the damage is not severe enough to abandon the project.
“This is not the most damaged building that we’ve ever undertaken. There’s been several others that were much worse and much more structurally damaged," McCormack said. "They all can be built back; it’s so important to save those things and be able to tell those stories with architecture.”