Renovation set to begin in new Roanoke Community Solutions Center

Roanoke, Va. (WDBJ7) - Renovation will begin this week on a site that was once a hot spot for violence in northwest Roanoke.

Feeding America Southwest Virginia is taking over the old Ms. Choc's restaurant.

Crews have been treating the new Community Solutions Center for smoke damage after a fire broke out shortly before they closed on the property several months ago. They plan to start renovation in the next few days.

President and CEO Pamela Irvine said they’re still on schedule to be able to open by the end of April or early May.

"We want to launch the kitchen, the training kitchen, production kitchen, for our children's meals just in time for summer meals,” she said. “And to feed our foodie truck. So we feel really good about that aspect."

Irvine said they'll first repair the roof and begin building the kitchen which they'll use to feed and education the community.

"And we'll be able to work with this community to have the community to identify challenges and opportunities from within the community and work to build a stronger community in Northwest Roanoke,” Irvine said.

The Roanoke Police Department recently won an international award for their efforts in establishing the program.