Short Pump area schoolhouse to be lifted, moved to public park

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – In Short Pump, look out for the house that will soon be on the move.

The plan right now is to take the house from Shady Grove Rd., and bring it, intact, to Pouncey Tract Park, about a mile away. But why?

The thing about this house, is that it used to be a two-room schoolhouse for African American students; the first of its kind in Henrico, dating back to the 1920's.

There's a lot of history beneath these walls, it just takes some heavy tools to find it. It's "Demolition: Day One" inside what was known, in the 1920's, as the Springfield School. In the 1950's, it was converted into a single family home, but as modern, upscale housing was built around it, the old school appeared seriously out of place; a drag not only on property values, but neighborhood curb appeal.

That's where Darryl Parrish comes in.

"We're taking all of this back off, to get the historical look back," Parrish said, showing us around the property.

With the aid of machines, Darryl and the crew from Daniel & Co., will actually pick up the 1400 square foot house and move it, intact, to Pouncey Tract Park.

"Anything that's not historical on the outside of this building is being taken off," Parrish said.

First, though, they must strip it down to the original siding, ceiling, and floor. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out what is, or is not, historic.

"At one point in time this was a house that somebody was living in, I guess as we can see they didn't take  their stuff with 'em," Parrish said with a laugh.

A similar project took place in Henrico in the 1990's. The old Deep Run School was refurbished and dropped at what is now Short Pump Park.

The county says the current project will beautify yet another public space, and improve a neighborhood while maintaining the historical significance of the former schoolhouse.

"It's not in the greatest shape, but it's gonna be put back in great shape," Parrish said.

The crew has about 40 more days to get this house ready with the goal of moving it all in one piece.

Henrico County will spend $250,000 dollars to move the school, refurbish it, and clean up its soon-to-be former site. The old schoolhouse was donated by a private landowner, who was not reachable for comment.

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