LYNCHBURG, Va. - Peggy Austin has been coming to the Diamond Hill Center for two years and looks forward to the new changes coming this summer.
"I'm just excited, waiting to see how beautiful the building is going to be," Austin said.
The center has been a hub in Diamond Hill since the 1970s.
"The center has enjoyed a lot of great use over the years and it’s just time to bring the site into the 21st century," Charlotte Lester, neighborhood center coordinator for Lynchburg Parks and Recreation, said.
Diamond Hill saw most of the city's homicides last year.
In an effort to bring some neighborhoods back to life, city leaders say it starts with the center.
"So there's an effort to really focus on Lynchburg as a thriving city. And one of the elements of a thriving city is strong neighborhoods," Lester said.
Last year, the city renovated two other centers-- College Hill and Daniel's Hill.
Rory Lee-Washington runs Daniel's Hill and has already seen positive effects.
"It's much easier now for me to keep the kids on board after we've had a snack or after we've done meal night. 'Hey, you missed that. There's something on the floor,' they say. 'Oh no, no, you can't mess up the center.' They'll grab it and throw it away," Lee-Washington said.
So far, the city will have spent $675,000 on four of the six centers in Lynchburg. All thanks to a the Community Development Block Grant. And at 6 p.m. Thursday, "Architects from Virginia A&E will be present to answer questions about the design. We'll discuss the timeline for the project. Talk about alternate services locations while the center is closed," Lester said.
Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.