Training Center Redevelopment Plan

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Project Background

The Training Center is located in Amherst County on 350 acres of land overlooking the James River and adjacent to Downtown Lynchburg. The site closed July 2020. At its peak, the site employed over 1,600 regional citizens and created a $25.1 million impact on Amherst County, $62 million impact on surrounding areas for a total regional impact of $87.1 million.

The Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance is the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization, the preeminent regional business organization focused on growing and sustaining the region. The leadership of the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and the Central Virginia Planning District Commission have designated the redevelopment of the Training Center as a regional priority convening public and private partners to champion this opportunity.

As such, the following localities are financially active partners in regional economic development initiatives: Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell Counties, the towns of Amherst, Altavista, Appomattox and the City of Lynchburg. Project partners include: Business and community leaders, representatives from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Central Virginia Planning District Commission, Amherst County, Amherst EDA, GO Virginia, and Opportunity Lynchburg.

About the Training Center

About the Training Center

Located in central Virginia, the Training Center in Madison Heights, Amherst, County Virginia on 350 acres of land overlooking the James River and immediately adjacent to downtown Lynchburg, Virginia.

History of the Training Center

Originally developed in 1910, the site was used as an asylum where eugenics was researched. By 1954, the facility name was changed to the Lynchburg Training School and Hospital and focused on education and caring for residents.

Renaming and Closure

More positive changes occurred in 1983, when the facility was renamed the Central Virginia Training Center and was the largest of the five Commonwealth facilities providing care to disabled and mentally ill residents. The state owned facility closed in 2020.

Reinventing the Facility

Before the facility closed it had 98 buildings with approximately six buildings still operational, supporting 47 residents with 215 jobs. We have the opportunity to reinvent this site and overcome the storied history that leaves this location underutilized today.

Why are we Redeveloping this Site?

Attract Development

A redevelopment plan will allow the potential developers to imagine the future of the Training Center.

Avoid Blight

The Training Center could become a blighted area that would create social and economic challenges for Amherst County, Downtown Lynchburg and the surrounding counties.

Economic Prosperity

Identify the highest and best use of the Training Center to setup the region for economic prosperity and increase regional viability.

The Team

Training Center Advisory Group

Amanda Adams, CJMW Architecture
Terry Austin, Virginia House of Delegates - Local
Robert Barnes, VDOT District
Jeremy Bryant, Amherst County
Kathy Byron, Virginia House of Delegates
Rob Campbell, James River Association
Ronnie Campbell, Virginia House of Delegates
Sara Carter, Town of Amherst
Amanda Cox, Appalachian Power
Joseph Damico, VA Dept of General Services
Ron Davia, DBHDS Office of A& E Services
Lauren Dianich, Atelier 11 Architecture, LTD
Luke Dykeman, Coldwell Banker Commercial Read & Co.
Chad Eby, President, Hermle, Amherst County EDA Chair
Holly Eve, VA Dept of General Services
Matt Fariss, Virginia House of Delegates - Local
Jamie Glass, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance - Chamber and Economic Development
Richard Hall, Central Virginia Training Center
Victoria Hanson, Amherst County Economic Development
Kelly Hitchcock, RIDE Solutions, Agency of Region 2000 Local Government Council
Hugh Hubinger, VA Dept of General Services
Wiley Johnson, III, Hurt & Proffitt, Inc.
Calvin Kennon, Specialty Exterminating Co.
Sabrina Kennon, Amherst County Chamber of Commerce
Ashley Kershner, Downtown Lynchburg Association
Dennis Knight, Wiley|Wilson
John Loftus, VEDP Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Megan Lucas, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, Chamber and Economic Development
Rob McClintock, VEDP Virginia Economic Development Partnership
Chet McPhatter, Banker Steel Company, L.L.C.
Karl Miller, Karl Miller Realty LLC
Chad Mooney, Petty, Livingston, Dawson & Richards, PC
JenniferMoore, Amherst County
Andrew Neiderer, MontVue Capital Management
Steve Newman, Virginia Senate
Stephen Newman, Senator Stephen D. Newman
L. Kimball Payne, L. Kimball Payne
Mark Peake, Caskie & Frost
Mark Peake, Virginia Senate
John Putney, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance - Chamber and Economic Development
Dean Rodgers, Amherst County
Lisa Stinnette, Commercial Steel Erection, Inc.
Ben Summers, S&S Machine, Inc./ T.R.U. Ball
Lisa Tomlin, BWX Technologies, Inc.
Claudia Tucker, Amherst County
Marjette Upshur, Economic Development Office City of Lynchburg
Wendell Walker , Virginia House of Delegates Local
Chris Winstead, Virginia Department of Transportation
Gloria Witt, Define Success Coaching & Facilitation
Denise Woernle, Framatome

Training Center Leadership Committee

Denise Woernle, Framatome
Kim Payne, GO Virginia Representative
Bif Johnson, Hurt & Proffitt, Inc.
Lauren Dianich, Atelier 11 Architecture
Kelly Hitchcock, RIDE Solutions, Agency of Region 2000 Local Government Council
Chad Eby, President, Hermle, Amherst County EDA Chair
Gloria Witt, Hermle and AEDA Chair
Jennifer R. Moore, Amherst County Board of Supervisor
Jeremy Bryant, Amherst County
Victoria Hanson, Amherst County, EDA
Dean Rogers, Amherst County
Marjette Upshur, City of Lynchburg, EDA
Megan Lucas, Lynchburg Regional Alliance
Jamie Glass, Lynchburg Regional Alliance
John Putney, Lynchburg Regional Alliance
Holly Eve, VA Dept of General Services


The project with GO Virginia approval and will take approximately eight months to complete.


The Alliance received a GO Virginia grant in the amount of $100,000 to assist in the execution of a redevelopment plan. The grant is being matched by the Central Viginia Planning District Commission, Amherst County, and the Amherst County Economic Development Authority.