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East End News

Richmond Cycling Corps moving to new home on Fairmount Avenue

Almost a decade ago, Mr. Joyner came to a New Visions Civic League meeting to share information about his building at 2123 Fairmount Avenue. The mixed-use corner spot, at some point in the past home to Wally’s Supermarket, was sitting vacant along with the house next door (also owned by Joyner).

Sensitive to the state of the neighborhood at that time, he had declined offers to put in a corner store, a store-front church, and an alcohol-serving restaurant in the space. At one point, the bulding was to house a hair salon, but a robbery in the area of one of the principles caused them to back out of the project. A later B&E at the vacant property saw the theft of the remaining computers and office material.

In the intervening 10 years, the prominant corner space at 22nd Street and Fairmount has been intermittently used as a recording studio and storage space, but has mostly been empty. The house next door was restored by Better Housing Coalition along the way, and the storefront has gone up for sale a few times.

Today, though, Richmond Cycling Corps announced that they have purchased the building, just blocks from Fairfield Court, Mosby Court, Martin Luther King Jr Middle School, and Armstrong High School, to use as their base of operations and to offer as a home away from home to the youth on their team. They anticipate being in the new space this fall.

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“The most important fact of this project is that we will be accessible to our youth, ” says the release on the RCC web site, “However, transportation and equipment storage logistics are noteworthy as well. We stand to gain significant savings in time and costs by more wisely locating our resources.”

RCC Executive Director Craig Dodson will live on site in the upstairs apartment.

Richmond Cycling Corps is an outreach program which uses cycling to connect with youth in public housing. RCC is responsible for the Armstrong Cycling Team and the MLK Cycling Team – the nations’s only inner-city high school and middle school cycling teams. The teams have finished 3rd in Virginia the past 2 years in competition with mainly private schools from around the state. Richmond Cycling Corps also built and maintains the Armstrong Bike Park.

Contact matt@richmondcyclingcorps.org for more information, or for information about corporate/individual support and sponsorship of this project

SEE ALSO: Armstrong, MLK riders show talent and tenacity in second race of the season (4/20/2016)

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2125 Fairmount Avenue and vacant house next door (2006)
2123 Fairmount Avenue and vacant house next door (2006)

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70 comments

ann 05/11/2016 at 8:45 AM

This is such good news.

Reply
Matt Conrad 05/11/2016 at 9:33 AM

This is just incredible. What a great bit of news.

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Elaine Odell 05/11/2016 at 1:10 PM

Wow. More proof that bikes bring joy–and clean air– to our world.

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Mary W Thompson 05/25/2016 at 2:18 PM

So happy to welcome this organization to our neck of the woods. I knew that this building was waiting for some good cause. All we have to do is be patient. By the way, Tiffany I., come visit your civic league meeting at the Library the first Saturday of each month – 10 a.m.

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chpn 05/27/2016 at 8:42 AM

Press release:

Richmond Cycling Corps Building a Brand-New Youth Outreach Center in Church Hill
Cycling-based organization for youth empowerment drops anchor in Church Hill
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

Richmond Cycling Corps is a Richmond, VA non-profit that combines the sport of cycling with innovative outreach strategies to empower young people from public housing to break free from poverty and enter mainstream society. Currently located in Scott’s Addition, they are planning a move into Church Hill, where their new operational headquarters, at 2123 Fairmount Avenue, will become a dynamic community resource for youth living in the highest-concentration of poverty in Richmond. The historic building they will be moving into on November 1st is just seven blocks from Fairfield Court public housing and adjacent to Mosby Court public housing and Martin Luther King Middle School. Once completed, the building will locate Richmond Cycling Corps in the heart of the east end concentration of poverty, and provide a logistical center of operations for the elite, competitive cycling programs RCC operates. Executive Director Craig Dodson will reside on-site, and provide a 24/7 adult-figure for mentoring and guidance.
“This is literally and figuratively the biggest thing we have ever done,” Dodson claims. “Our work has always focused on deep personal involvement, and so placing our physical headquarters at the doorstep of our youth will enhance every aspect of our ‘always on call’ approach to outreach. Six years into this thing, we know full well that to break kids free from pubic housing, we need to place ourselves and all of our resources at their disposal, and become even more accessible to them, and them to us. Our style of outreach serves as a beacon for kids in public housing to navigate their way out of multi-generational poverty.”
The award winning local organization was recently featured on CNN Heroes, and was a 2015 Better Housing Coalition Golden Hammer Award winner, as well as a 2014 recipient of the Valentine Museum History Maker’s Award. Richmond Cycling Corps operates year-long programming out of Armstrong High School and Martin Luther King middle school through a partnership with Communities in School of Richmond.
The Lighthouse will be home to 4,000 square feet of programming space, which will be a home away from home that includes meeting areas for school work and socializing. Over 50 bicycles, as well as three vehicles and team trailer will be stored on site. Purchase of the building, plus construction, renovation, and furnishing, will cost $528,000.00.
“This is a significant capital investment in the community we serve, made possible by six years of steady support from our individual donors and corporate sponsors. The close proximity to the youth in our program creates operational efficiencies that will enable us to maximize the impact of future donations to RCC.” says Jeff Kelley of CapTech Consulting, co-chair of Richmond Cycling Corps’ board of directors.
Financing is being provided by Virginia Credit Union, with Crossroads Development Inc. overseeing all construction. A capital campaign is underway to secure an additional $310,000.00 in funding, which includes a $50,000.00 matching grant from The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation. More information is available at http://www.richmondcyclingcorps.org/2123.

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