Future development of old Bedford Middle School underway a year after massive fire

The site will now be called Cardinal Rule

Officials held a groundbreaking ceremony nearly a year after a fire at the building, looking to its future.

BEDFORD, Va – Just over a year ago fire ripped through the walls of the old Bedford Middle School, a tragic event that brought people from all corners of Bedford.

Since then, developers have remained committed to restoring the building.

When the old Bedford Middle School was set on fire on Jan. 23, 2020, developer Dave McCormack promised he would continue his plan to transform the building into apartments and a boutique hotel, even as he watched the building burn.

Before and after from the sky of the old Bedford Middle School

On Monday, those plans became one step closer to reality.

“That day was absolutely horrible. But even then, as that fire burned, we were determined and told and we made that announcement we were going do this project, no matter what,” said McCormack.

The building was originally built as Bedford High School and was part of the town’s D-Day and World War II history. In the past year, crews have worked to clean and repair the structure.

“Such an iconic set of buildings. This campus is amazing. That history is incredible and to be a part of the new life of this thing is a huge honor,” said McCormack.

Daniel Flint, a former student at the school, is accused of setting the fire.

Daniel Flint is facing two felony charges of arson and burglary. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

Flint was set to appear in court the same day of the groundbreaking but his court date was pushed back.

Developers said despite the setbacks they have faced because of the fire, the project is expected to be complete by mid next year.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.