The Jefferson School Foundation is dedicated to preserving and sustaining the Jefferson School as a vibrant and meaningful community resource that provides cultural and educational opportunities to its surrounding neighborhoods, the citizens of Charlottesville and visitors to our region. The Foundation's two main objectives are: to facilitate and support the City Center's community based agenda and, to ensure the longevity of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center.

Saving and Renovating Jefferson School

In 2002, Jefferson School alumni, Starr Hill neighborhood residents and other interested parties united to save Jefferson School, Charlottesville's only African American school between 1865 and 1951. In 2007, eleven volunteers from the business, government and non-profit sectors formed a partnership to: identify financing for the project that included tax credit funding; populate the building; and oversee the renovation process. In January 2013, a newly restored Jefferson School, renamed the Jefferson School City Center, opened with nine resident partners whose linked intergenerational and interdisciplinary programs represents a new model for the community center of the 21st century.

A Bridge to the Past and an Anchor to the Community

In an area of the City that is undergoing its own revitalization, the City Center is an anchor for those who have lived in the surrounding neighborhood for a lifetime and those who are newcomers. Against the backdrop of a renovation that complies with standards established by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and contextualized by a permanent interactive exhibition, which describes African American contributions to our community, the City Center is Charlottesville's cultural and educational hub.

Jefferson School City Center