RICHMOND (WRIC) - Bon Secours finally makes plans official for the old Westhampton school and many neighbors are relieved about the result.
Bon Secours announced they will convert the building to the home of its College of Nursing.
Groups like Historic Richmond are happy the building is staying put.
"100 year old buildings don't come back," says Mary Jane Hogue. So we are very over and beyond enthused over the final decision."
Bon Secours got the rights to the property as part of its deal to sponsor the Redskins Training Camp.
Neighbors had been worried the school would've been demolished and replaced with new businesses.
"My children all went here so we have a love for this school and I'm glad it's going to be kept intact," says Milton Shepperson.
Bon Secours pledges to keep the community involved with the project by reaching out to Westhampton alumni as they restore the building.
It also brings more opportunities to Richmond.
"The ability for the students to study and train in such close proximity is going to be really good for the students and really good for our patients," says Toni Ardabell, CEO of St Mary's Hospital.
There is still concern from neighbors about the playground being torn down, but Bon Secours plans to refurbish the equipment and move it nearby.
"It'll be great if they could move it near the library where the kids are already going," says neighbor Nina Polizzano. "I don't know if that's a possibility, but I'd love to see that playground nearby."
The school has been vacant since 2009.
The project could take up to three years to complete, as the building is renovated and community needs are met.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond