Four juveniles have been charged with starting a fire at the old Blacksburg High School on July 15 according to a statement released from the Blacksburg Police Department released Wednesday.
Police said that the minors are from the New River Valley and have been charged with arson, but no further details are being released due to their a ages.
Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman Chris Tuck said last month that there was no structural damage to the building, and that the damage was limited to approximately seven rows of chairs. He also noted that the building was insured.
The supervisors voted to sell the property to David Hagan and Larry Shelor (HS Development, L.L.C) in late April for $3 million. The contract gives Hagan and Shelor, who have since partnered with local developer Jeanne Stosser, a six month window to assess the property, which would allow them withdraw from finalizing the deal for any reason while only losing the initial $25,000 deposit to the county.
Tuck said that he has spoken with both Hagan and Stosser, and they do not believe that the fire will have any impact on their plans to move forward with the pending sale.
In early May, Stosser told the News Messenger that there was a good chance that at least part of the old school could be used in the site’s development, possibly as some sort of retirement facility, and that much of the building was in great condition, although parts of the building had been subject to vandalism.
Citizens had also complained at previous supervisor meetings that kids were trespassing on the property, even skateboarding on the roof, which some attributed to a lack of police presence in the area.
Tuck said last month that County Administrator Craig Meadows had asked the Blacksburg Police Department to increase patrols of the property following the fire.
He also said that the county will be taking further security measure, but did not specify what that would entail.
The high school has been closed since 2010 when the gymnasium roof collapsed following a snowstorm.