HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A renovation project is happening at St. Joseph's Villa in Henrico County. It's a campus for more than 500 special needs students and their families.
This major renovation is going to enhance their learning experience well into the future.
Schools leaders say the hope is to build this school up for the next generation, making it an even more inviting community, for it's students.
Tenth grader Patrick McIntosh is ready to dig toward his future. "I want to see what it is going to look like when it is all finished, because I think it will look great," says Patrick.
Today is the first step in that direction. Students, parents and other community members gathered at St Joseph's Villa in the northern area of the county to help break ground on a $13 million renovation project.
"What we are doing here is recognizing need and if you can recognize need and work with it, you'll feel good about it," says David Redmond. David Redmond is a volunteer who's been working for eight years for this day, and in just about a year from now, he'll see some big changes.
Starting in September, crews will build a new road around the perimeter of the campus, instead of having traffic running through the middle of campus.
"The middle of the campus will become a mall where our students and clients can come together, enjoy themselves more than they do right now," adds Redmond.
That mall will link all of the buildings on this campus together, along with adding some new landscaping to turn this into a new community; one that Patrick is anxious to see.
"Take it in. Just take it all in," says Patrick. And his mom, JeriLynn is right by his side.
"What it will do for the children. That is what I am looking forward to. And, how it will add to their growth here," says JeriLynn.
Growth she is seeing in her son at this specialized school and already seeing on campus with other improvements already underway... with a whole lot more to come soon.
For more information about the school and the project, go to this web site: http://www.stjosephsvilla.net/