W. Luray Rec Center looking to build community park

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 6:25 PM EDT
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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - For years, Living Legacy, a nonprofit in the town of Luray, has worked to convert the old Andrew Jackson Schoolhouse into a rec center for the community. After its completion, the organization is looking at a new project.

“It was a huge undertaking it almost seemed like mission impossible,” Audre King with Living Legacy said. “So in my mind, although I was working towards an end it was almost like the end would never be there.”

At the end of this school year, the organization completed its first year of mentorship programs and tutoring for students. King was also able to add a clothing closet and hygiene product pantry for those in need.

The almost 100-year-old schoolhouse served black students in Page County, and through restoration went from having little electricity to having a computer lab.

The rec center now serves as a safe haven for kids in the Valley to be mentored and catch up on homework.

“We can see that having 30 or 40 kids here every Wednesday, they are looking for something to do and we provide that outlet which has been awesome,” King said.

But now the organization is looking to expand on its mission for Page County by adding the Andrew Jackson School Memorial Park.

King says the park would be behind where the schoolhouse sits now but serve the community. After owning one acre of land already, King said they were given another acre from a private donor and then the town also donated an additional acre.

He had said in May that he knew it was time to get the ball moving on Phase II.

“I said okay let’s see how this goes for a few months, let’s get steady in this, and then let’s drop to phase two,” King said. “But there was a woman we were sharing what Phase Two was and she donated $20,000 for us to start.”

King adds that a farmer also donated $2,000 to be used to build the park within the last month.

He says right now, because of help from the organization’s board members, site plans are being made by students at Virginia Tech. King said those plans should be ready by September with hopes to break ground in Jan. 2021.

Until then, more work is needed to be done to clean out the field which was once filled with trees, shrubbery and old tires.

You can make a donation to the project by clicking here.

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