Meeting planned to discuss Westhampton school site - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Meeting planned to discuss Westhampton school site

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

On Wednesday, people living in Richmond's West End could learn the fate of the Westhampton school site, a piece of property that is involved in the deal to bring the Redskins training camp to the city.

Even on a chilly day in January, the playground at the school near Libbie and Patterson is busy. With the elaborate slides and colorful characters, to the community, this area isn't just a playground.

"It is a center for the neighborhood," said Nadja Gutowski, who lives nearby. "It's an architectural treasure for the neighborhood. It's one of the busiest, if not the busiest playground in the City of Richmond."

Neighbors maintain they were kept out of the loop when it was decided the site would be used as part of the deal to entice Bon Secours to finance the Redskins training camp. Changes were made in the final negotiations that ensure the playground will be relocated to a nearby city-owned property. The new site hasn't been chosen yet, says the area's newly-elected Councilman Jon Baliles.

"I hear it's going to be within two or three blocks of the current location so hopefully everybody can enjoy that the way they do now," he explained.

But neighbors want to hear more Wednesday night.

"I have mixed feelings," Belle Landrum, who grew up playing here says. "It would be logical that they would have a meeting but I truly don't know how much sway any of us will have."

Monday, a Bon Secours rep told NBC12 the meeting is part of an ongoing effort to get that feedback and keep neighbors informed of developments.

Baliles says he and the health system will make sure that continues moving forward.

"It will be kind of a small committee that is informed of the changes in the plans," Baliles added. "Then they will go out to the neighborhood associations and keep the residents informed and there's no miscommunication."

The meeting is Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Mary's auditorium on Bremo Road. Bon Secours says it will also have updates on other projects at St. Mary's then.

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