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.
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space
A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.
Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.
Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.
Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.
“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.
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