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Developers break ground on old Bedford Middle School project

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 5:38 PM EST
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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Developers are moving forward with plans to transform the old Bedford Middle School complex into a destination that attracts visitors.

With shovels in hand, leaders in Bedford took the first steps Monday toward bringing new life to the historic complex.

“It’s an exciting time, obviously,” Mayor Tim Black said.

Exciting, especially when you look back a year ago and remember the heartache so many felt when they saw the building up in flames.

“It was a very emotional day. I mean, my father was an assistant principal here when he first came to Bedford, so I have a lot of ties to the facility,” Black said.

Now instead of destruction, the property holds the building blocks to new opportunities.

“I knew then, just walking around here with smoke still coming out of the building, that we were going to complete this thing and see it through, no matter what,” Waukeshaw Development President Dave McCormack said.

The development company plans to bring a boutique hotel, apartments and an athletic facility to the complex.

“To be a part of the new life of this thing is a huge honor,” McCormack said.

The name of the project is Cardinal Rule. McCormack said it will take about 18 months to complete.

“At the end of it you will see that roof and the copula back on the building and it will look like it did before that fire started,” McCormack said.

The town is excited to see how a piece of history will push them into the future and make Bedford even more of a destination.

“To get people to come here and see what our community is about and hopefully come back often,” Black said.

January 23 marked the one-year anniversary for the old Bedford Middle School fire.

The man accused of lighting the flames, Daniel Flint, 22, was set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing Monday, however that hearing has been continued to a later date.

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