GRTC announced Monday the RVA Street Art Festival site at the old bus depot of West Cary Street will reopen.
The site was shut down after an attack on a security guard patrolling the area. At this point, there's no set timeline for when locks will come off the gates of the site.
For almost four months, looking at this site has been bittersweet for many Richmonders. A closed sign and locked gates serve as a sad reminder of the November attack that left security guard Jack Newsom bruised and broken.
"I think I was really saddened, because there was so much goodness here and so much unfolded so beautifully. It was just heart wrenching," said Patience Salgado, who organized the Light of Human Kindness wall at the site.
But with the rebirth that comes in spring, GRTC announced this site will also be reborn.
"The idea that it can be opened back up and that goodness does prevail in the end, I think that's really exciting and so positive and hopeful," Salgado reacted.
The effort has taken a lot of work. Festival organizers have been negotiating to get the GRTC board's permission to reopen.
"I think a lot of it was just really funding a security setup so that when the public comes here during the day they feel safe and GRTC feels confident that people are going to be safe when they're walking around," founder Ed Trask said.
He explains they've also been working out liability issues.
"We have to make sure it is insured," Trask added. "That sounds like a small thing but that can be kind of hard for a five-and-a-half acre space."
As of now, the site is expected to stay open only during the day and close around five o'clock. That time will be pushed back as the days get longer. Trask says Richmonders can expect more art and visits from school children to make sure this site is once again a catalyst for positive change in the city.
"This belongs to all of us now and we have a responsibility to take care of it," Salgado added.
Organizers hope to hold a larger festival on the grand reopening day.
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