Henrico County VA
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Glen Allen Branch Library earns LEED Silver approval

The Glen Allen Branch Library has received LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in recognition of a variety of energy-saving measures that were incorporated into its renovation. The library is the first Henrico County general government facility to receive LEED certification under a policy backed by the Board of Supervisors in January 2010.

The library, which reopened in October 2010 following an $8.3 million renovation and expansion, features energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, a low-flow plumbing system and building materials made from recycled content. The building also has preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles and a kiosk that highlights its daily energy use.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, establishes a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of “green” buildings. It balances some increased costs for design and construction against greater long-term savings from more-efficient use of water and energy and other benefits, such as improved air quality.

The Glen Allen Branch Library, at 10501 Staples Mill Road, first opened in 1995. The renovation and expansion, approved by Henrico voters in the 2005 bond referendum, doubled the building’s size to more than 25,000 square feet.

The Department of General Services received notice May 14 that the library had been certified at the LEED Silver level based on points awarded for various design features and other criteria. The county is actively pursuing LEED certification for several other buildings, including the Gayton Branch Library, which is under renovation on Gayton Road, the renovated Fire Station no. 12 on West End Drive and the new Eastern Henrico Recreation Center on North Laburnum Avenue.
Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

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.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

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.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


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.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

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.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

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.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

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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