The Arlington County Board has donated the Woodlawn School and released $219,000 in contingency funds to Hospice of Northern Virginia for a special, 20-bed facility for terminally ill patients.
The release of the funds and the donation of the school at 4720 N. 16th Street, which was closed last year as part of a chool system reorganization, represents the first financial commitment by a Northern Virginia jurisdiction for the development of a hospice.
Hospice President Dorothy Rigdon told the board at a public hearing last Saturday that her organization plans to approach other jurisdictions for approximately $1.2 million to cover start-up costs, the expenses of renovating the 40-year-old school and operating costs for one year.
Since its formation two years ago, Hospice of Northern Virginia has operated a home-care program. About 50 patients, most of them victims of terminal cancer, and their families are visited regularly by a team of doctors, nurses and social workers who counsel patients and their families and administer pain-killing drugs.
The hospice, which officials say they hope to open next year, has been endorsed by the Arlington County Medical Society and the civic association in the area of Woodlawn School.
The County Board recently created a seven-member industrial author ity that would have the power to sell bonds to finance ahospice.