Construction begins to restore Christiansburg Institute building

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)— A construction project to preserve history in Christiansburg is officially underway.

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Work to restore the historic Edgar A. Long building - which was a part of the former Christiansburg Industrial Institute - began a few weeks ago. Crews Monday could be seen working to preserve the roof.

The Edgar A. Long building was one of 14 on the school’s campus for African American children. The school operated in Christiansburg on 185 acres of land from 1866 until 1966.

The plan is to make part of the building into a museum, gift shop and places for the community to rent out.

“This building is beautiful inside and out, and we want to preserve it and we want people to see how proud we are of this building,” said Debbie Sherman-Lee. “A lot of people live here in this area and they don’t even know anything about Christiansburg Institute.”

Sherman-Lee said the project has been made possible thanks to many donations, including from the Town of Christiansburg, Town of Blacksburg, Montgomery County, 100+ Women Who Care, the Secular Society and many more. She said the total cost of the project will likely be about $5 million and could take two to three years to complete.

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