Option Is Exercised: Patrick Henry Family Services To Purchase Former Library Site

Published 3:13 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FARMVILLE — The former home of the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library is being taken out of circulation.

And assured of continued good use.

Patrick Henry Family Services, which operates one of its four Hope For Tomorrow Counseling Centers in the 217 West Third Street building, has notified the Town it will exercise its option to buy the building it has been leasing.

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As a required, but mere, formality, the sale must be approved by the Town, Prince Edward County and the library’s board.

“We like the location. We love being in Farmville,” Patrick Henry Family Services CEO, Robert Day, told The Herald. “That’s important to us. We’ve gotten a good response in terms of the clients that we’re serving, so we wanted to make sure we put a permanent root there in Farmville and continue our ministry.”

The sale price is $225,000 but Patrick Henry Family Services, which provides residential care at its well-known Boys and Girls Homes, will be able apply rent already paid toward the purchase price.

The money from the sale, as has been the case with three years of rent, will be placed in a special escrow account for the library to purchase equipment. Those proposed purchases are reviewed and approved by a committee of town council, board of supervisors, and library board members.

“What it means to us is that the whole value of the building will be put into an account, which is earmarked for the library,” Peggy Epperson, Director of the Central Virginia Regional Library, told The Herald. “And there is a committee that approves disbursements from the account. In the last year the income from that account has allowed us to replace five computers for the public and to install some security cameras.”

Those are the kind of projects for which the fund will continue to be used.

“It’s nice to know there is a fund that can supplement our ongoing operations budget for major capital projects,” Epperson said, also expressing pleasure that the library’s old home will be re-used, not torn down.

When the Town of Farmville and Prince Edward County teamed up to build the new library at Wilck’s Lake, the library deeded the 217 West Third property to the Town.

“They gave it to us, the title, so we could sell it,” Spates told town council during its April work session last week.

“They just felt it was better for us to have it (the old building). That we could market it better than they could,” Spates explained. “They weren’t in the rental business.”

The former library building and site was appraised at $400,000, according to Spates, but the downturn in the economy coincided with construction of the new library.

“We tried to sell it and we couldn’t even get anybody to buy it at $200,000,” Spates said.

The lease-purchase agreement entered into three years ago was considered a win-win by all parties.

“We originally set the price at $225,000,” Spates told The Herald, “and they’ve paid rent for three years so we apply that toward that purchase price. So it will give the library money to buy necessary equipment that they need.”

The Hope For Tomorrow Counseling Center offers counseling to children, adolescents, adults and families.

The spring issue of The Orator, the magazine of Patrick Henry Family Services, notes that family counseling has long been part of the organization’s services. “Over the years, we have realized that many of the situations that led children to our care might have been avoided through counseling. That is why we began Hope For Tomorrow.”

The counseling center, The Orator continues, is “ready to provide discreet, uplifting assistance close to home. Whether ministering to individuals, couples or entire families, our goal is the same: to bring peace and stability to lives in turmoil…No one in need of our services is ever turned away due to inability to pay.”

The other three Hope For Tomorrow Counseling locations are in Lynchburg, Bedford and South Boston.