AMHERST COUNTY, Va. – With nearly 350 acres in Amherst County, the Central Virginia Training Center is currently vacant, but you can voice your opinion on what should happen to it through a new website.
“A lot of people have great ideas, and that’s the point of this process,” said Jeremy Bryant, director of planning and zoning for Amherst County.
The tool was part of the plan unveiled Oct. 1 by the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and Central Virginia District Commission.
Along with a public survey, the site features videos of the property, a virtual tour and interactive maps.
“We could do nothing and just let it be, and let it continue to be a blighted and substandard as it dilapidates as it sits there,” said Megan Lucas, ceo and chief economic development officer of Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance. “Or we could say, ‘Here’s the highest and best use. Here’s a plan for it and push that plan forward.’”
The state-owned property closed in July 2020. The training center was dedicated to serving people with developmental disabilities.
Officials said with 1,600 full-time jobs, the facility was the largest employer in the county and generated tens of millions of dollars in economic activity for the region.
“Folks have been very touched by the Central Virginia Training Center in so many different ways, and I think there’s a lot of hunger for change to see that property really revitalized,” said Victoria Hanson, executive director of Amherst County Economic Development Authority.
There’s no timeline yet on when the project will be completed.