Henrico County VA
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Gayton Library reopens after year-long renovation

After waiting more than a year, the Henrico community had to wait one more day than expected to see the $4.8 million renovation to the Gayton Library.

As officials planned to unveil the inside of the building at its reopening celebration June 25, a powerful storm blew through the region and knocked out power to the facility, along with thousands of other locations.

“It was just one of those things,” said Kara Rothman, community relations coordinator for Henrico County Public Libraries. “Weather is just out of your hands, but we were glad that we could welcome people and have the ceremony.”

The community had to wait until the following day to see the complete interior renovation, when the library opened at its normal time of 10 a.m.

The library, which originally opened in Dec.1988, closed for these renovations last April.

“Before we closed, we had a lot of problems with darkness at night; our lights didn’t really work the way they needed to,”said Erin Rogers, Gayton children’s librarian. “We had moved shelving around in the years that we had been open, and it didn’t really match up with the paths of the lights anymore.”

Last week’s storms aside, no one will have any problems seeing inside Gayton Library at night anymore, Rogers said.

Other large changes to the interior include a more-segmented children’s area, an actual room for the teen area, updated technology in the meeting room and a new quiet study room. The quiet study room, which completely blocks out any noise, came as a result of numerous requests from the community, including at a town hall meeting that occurred during the renovation’s planning stages, Rothman said.

“I really think the architects did a great job incorporating all those comments,”she said. BCWH served as the architectural firm, with Charles W. Wray Jr. as the principal architect on the project. Everything went according to schedule, Rothman said.

Both Rothman and Rogers said it would be good for the community to have Gayton Library open for business again.

Rogers said it had been hard to comfort people with how close the Tuckahoe Library was when they had been so used to just walking to the Gayton Library every day. Rothman added that they can walk again, now to a “much more inviting, open and modern”library.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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