Earth moves for West Broad apartments

Work has started at the Faison School’s 64,000-square-foot complex. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

Work has started on the Faison School’s 64,000-square-foot complex. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

After more than three years of fundraising, a local nonprofit has broken ground on a $15 million development.

The earth is moving at the Faison School for Autism’s 64,000-square-foot housing complex at West Broad Street and Byrd Avenue. The project is slated to be completed by summer 2014.

The complex will have 45 apartments, about a third of which will cater to adults with disabilities who have aged out of the school. It will include about 9,400 square feet of commercial space facing Broad Street that will be leased.

The property is at 5215 W. Broad St., just west of Willow Lawn and with the distinctive former Markel building sitting just to the south.

Whiting-Turner is handling construction on the project. Baskervill is the architect.

The school has worked since about 2009 to raise money from donors to help finance much of the project. The $8.5 million campaign had reached its final leg in the spring, with only $1.5 million remaining toward its goal.

The school will finance the remaining costs through the Virginia Housing Development Authority.

The Faison School for Autism was founded in 1998 with funding from Markel Corp. chairman Alan Kirshner and Flo Guzman. It serves about 120 students between the ages of 2 and 22.

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Zeke Recent comment authors
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Glad to see something fill that vacant lot – and glad to see that its helping a worthy cause.