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Following a multi-year lease agreement and a due diligence period, Veritas School (Veritas) closed January 5, 2017 on the purchase of three Union Presbyterian Seminary (UPSem) buildings west of Brook Road.
The purchased property consists of three educational buildings:
Lingle Hall (3406 Brook Road), a single story building with finished lower level, built in 1967. At 30,742 square feet, it is the largest of the buildings, hosting Veritas Upper School classrooms, commonspaces and a gymnasium.
DuBose Hall (1205 Palmyra Avenue), a two story building constructed in 1952 to serve as the former Presbyterian School of Christian Education’s administrative building. Veritas plans a full interior renovation, to include required updates to all mechanical and safety systems, ADA accessibility and a conversion from offices to fitting classroom space. The renovation on the 13,174 square foot hall will begin with a local architect and builder in the coming months.
The Newbury Center (1201 Palmyra Ave), a purpose-built preschool building currently hosting Veritas’ K4 program, adds another 2,816 square feet to the educational space on campus.
In addition to the academic buildings, the purchase includes recreational space, play areas, and parking, for a total acquisition of 2.52 acres of land. Veritas School paid $2.8 million for the property, which will be funded by an active capital campaign. The capital campaign plans to raise $4 million to cover the cost of the purchase and the needed renovation of DuBose Hall. A successful capital campaign in 2014 and 2015 allowed the school to purchase the first two educational buildings on their Northside campus, Virginia and Graves Halls, from the Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond. With the purchase of these three buildings, Veritas has secured the academic campus it will need for the foreseeable future. Additional adjacent property will support the school’s growing athletic, recreation, and performing arts programs.
UPSem and Veritas have enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial relationship since Veritas’ move in the summer of 2013. An important Northside institution, UPSem’s welcome and encouragement has been invaluable, as has been the warm reception of the Sherwood and Ginter Park neighborhoods.
Reflecting on the purchase, Veritas Head of School Keith Nix remarked: “We are so pleased and grateful for the welcome of our neighbors. This campus suits our growing school perfectly. As we look back, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to continue the Christian scholarship begun on this campus over one hundred years ago; looking forward, we are grateful to play our part in the next chapter of Northside’s exciting future.”
Speaking for UPSem’s Board, Dr. Brian Blount, Union Presbyterian’s President, commented, “We are deeply thankful for the decades of good work that unfolded in Lingle and DuBose Halls, and the young lives touched in the Newbury Center, under UPSem’s leadership. As we confidently move toward the next phase of our school’s mission, we have much to celebrate and much good work ahead. As we look across Brook Road, we are pleased to see that Veritas is continuing the legacy of Christian education on this storied corner of Richmond and look forward to many years of friendship between our institutions.”
The seventeen-year old K4 – 12th grade Veritas School moved to Brook Road from their former home on Jahnke Road in the fall of 2013. Enrollment, which was under 300 when the school moved, is projected to be at 520 for the coming school year. The school, which offers metro Richmond’s only classical, Christian academic program, intends to cap total enrollment at 650 students.
Founded in 1812, Union Presbyterian Seminary is among the oldest and most respected theological institutions in the United States and one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). With a vision to form leaders and educators who can become a transforming presence in the life of the church, Union serves a diverse student body at campuses in Richmond, Virginia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. Its Extended Campus Program offers students a graduate-level education that combines online learning with intensive periods of study on campus.