Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School

The old and historic Central Virginia Training School / Center (CVTC), is off of Colony Road in Madison Heights, Virginia.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center

As with the closure of many institutions since the 1990’s this one is as well. Many of the buildings of this large complex and facility are already closed and have been for awhile. Some even decaying for years already. Access to the grounds is forbidden as a few remaining special needs / critically ill groups are still at CVTC.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center

It began in 1910 as the Virginia State Epileptic Colony. It was originally created to house 100 persons with epilepsy. The original site began with a couple “smaller cottages” and the main Drewery-Gilliam Building referred to as the “cottage”. It housed 2, 40 bed dormitories, living rooms, linen rooms, bathrooms, laundry room, dining room, kitchen and more in the 2 floors and basement.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center
The Drewery-Gilliam Building

In 1913, after the completion of the 60 bed Mastin-Minor Building, the facility began accepting “feeble-minded” women. By 1919, there were over 500 residents. 351 were epileptics and 157 were classed “feeble-minded”. In 1921, the name was changed to State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded.

Come 1926 the population was at 845. 347 male and 164 female epileptics with 334 female mentally challenged patients. With the rise in popularity of Eugenics by 1927, sterilization became common procedure for many at the institution. It was renamed Lynchburg State Colony in 1940. Renamed again in 1954 to reflect the changes of the times it became Lynchburg Training School and Hospital.

By 1979, overcrowding became a huge issue. In 1983, it was named for the last time as the Central Virginia Training Center.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center
pool table left in obviously crumbling building

Come the end of 2018 over 800 residents were relocated from CVTC. The closure of this establishment stems from a 2012 settlement with the Department of Justice. This internal investigation found that Virginia was not adequately integrating the residents back into the community. As of 2019, there are less than 70 people remaining. The rest of the facility is set or closure by 2020.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center
Various types of wheelchairs and walkers
Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center
Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center
Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center

Where is the abandoned Central Virginia Training School located? You can find the old CVTC with these coordinates. 37.410947, -79.116236.

Slow Abandonment of the Central Virginia Training School / Center

Pictures by Abandoned Playgrounds.

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