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Former Fieldale school turned into 23-unit apartment building

FIELDALE, VA – Community members and area dignitaries welcomed Henry County’s new Fieldale School Apartments, the first of four historic buildings in the area to be refurbished into highly needed local housing, during an event on Tuesday.

The four properties will collectively be called the “Martinsville-Henry Historic Collective.”

A lack of available housing for local employees has become a nationwide crisis.

Over 11,000 employees travel each day from outside the area.

John Garland and Jim Cherney are the catalyst behind seeing the project come to life.

As the development partners of JRS Realty Partners, LLC, they teamed up to address the state’s workforce housing crisis by building a model of collaboration to find new ways to leverage idle and often run-down properties.

When the four projects are completed, the partners will have invested over $25 million into the area.

“We firmly believe in the people and the future of Henry County and Martinsville, or we would not be making such a substantial, multi-project investment here,” Cherney said.

Garland has a long history of saving historic properties.

“I take great pride in reviving buildings that have outlived their original purpose. As a society, if we let historic and architecturally significant properties slip away, it becomes a slippery slope.” He continued, “The Fieldale School is a beautiful landmark building that had fallen into disrepair. We are extremely proud of what the building now has the opportunity to become.”

The building’s refurbished school auditorium, with seating for 200+, will be made available to the broader community for events and meetings.

Its use by residents will be on a priority basis, coordinated by the Fieldale Community Center next door.

The developers also plan to provide residents a one-year membership to the community center swimming pools as a part of their lease.

Artifacts of its schoolhouse days are found both inside and outside the apartments.

The apartments will cost $895 a month for 1 bedroom and $1,150 a month for 2 bedrooms or for the lofts.

The 23 apartments will be ready for residents to move in on April 1.

Applications can be found here.

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