A 161-acre land parcel and 4118 square foot, two-story office building that served as a portion of the Patrick Henry’s Home for Boys Brookneal Campus sold at auction on August 7.
Proceeds from the auction, which was handled by Torrence, Read and Forehand, (TRF) Auctions of Forest, Virginia, will go to benefit Patrick Henry Family Services.
The office building and land parcel sold in three separate tracts. Tract one consisted of the office building and six acres. Tract two was a 12-acre land parcel and tract three; a 143-acre land parcel. Together the tracts made up the front acreage at the entrance to Patrick Henry’s historic Red Hill Memorial Plantation, with road frontage either on Red Hill Road or Staunton Mill Road and once served as an integral part of a 700-acre campus that served as a residential care facility that has provided housing, guidance, care and Christian environment to at-risk youth since1961.
At the end of bidding, tract one, (office and six acres) brought $150,000. 12-acre tract two sold for $36,000 and 143-acre tract three drew $1,500 per acre or $214,000 for a grand total of $400,500. One buyer bought tracts one and three; the two land tracts. Another buyer bought the office building and six-acre lot.
The Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation has chosen to retain ownership of the remaining land and improvements, which include various cottages, staff housing, an all-purpose building with swimming pool and an outdoor tennis court, according to Memorial Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Hope Marstin, even though the decision presents new challenges inherent of maintaining the improved, albeit aging, real estate.
“We haven’t decided exactly what the best use of it all is yet,” Marstin said. “We have had several discussions, but no definite decision yet.”
Originally founded in 1959 as The Patrick Henry Boys Plantation, the residential youth care facility officially closed in October 2018, per vote of Patrick Henry Family Services 28-member Board of Trustees.
The decision to close the group home’s Brookneal Campus is not surprising, nor is it unique to Patrick Henry Family Services.
The Board’s choice was made as a response to recognition of a deliberate industry-wide shift in the child welfare care model. The change was inspired by federal legislation that was strongly supported in Virginia. The legislation was passed into law in 2018.
Consideration of variables such as the inevitable, imminent industry changes on the horizon, an estimated operating cost of $150,000 per year as well as the added expense of maintaining a campus of aging buildings that would only demand costlier upkeep over time all weighed into the Board’s decision to close the original Brookneal Campus.
The Family First Prevention Services Act, (FFPSA), was signed into law on February 9, 2018 as part of the Bi-Partisan Budget Act.
The FFPSA effectively modified Title IV-E and Title IV-B of the Social Security Act and represented what many considered a long overdue and historic reform to the child welfare system. The FFPSA accomplished this by re-directing financing marked for federal child welfare into programs that increased availability of services for at-risk family units as a whole, and kinship care for children, and away from traditional measures such as group home or congregant care or foster care.
The FFPSA’s stance is meant to be proactive. Its purpose is to provide for the creation and implementation of programs and services that place an increased emphasis on intervention, prevention, care and preservation of the family unit or kinship care for at-risk children.
Additionally, the FFPSA provides state incentives to seek out foster family settings for children already in the system as opposed to congregant or group home care of youth as a means of increasing child well-being
Marstin did indicate that despite the closing of the Brookneal campus that has served at-risk youth for so many years in the patriotic Memorial’s namesake, Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation intends to continue on its original path of preservation and public presentation of the home and final resting place of Patrick Henry, one of nation’s strongest and outspoken patriot’s.
A full schedule of operating hours and special events held throughout the year can be found on the Foundation’s website at: http://www.Redhill.org