Henrico County VA
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Henrico to build new Dumbarton Area Library at Staples Mill Centre

Henrico County plans to build a new Dumbarton Area Library on a parcel provided in Staples Mill Centre, a mixed-use community to be developed by Gumenick Properties between West Broad Street and Staples Mill Road near Libbie Avenue.

Under an agreement approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, the three-story library will be built beside a two-acre lake with a fountain, creating an attractive gathering place surrounded by residences and shops. The library, which will have 50,000 to 60,000 square feet of floor space, is expected to be under construction in spring 2014 with an opening slated for fall 2016.

“This agreement represents an exciting collaboration between the public and private sectors,” said Richard W. Glover, chairman of the Board of Supervisors and supervisor for the Brookland District. “The new library will be a tremendous resource for Henrico residents and will be a focal point for other activity in Staples Mill Centre, which in turn will generate jobs and economic activity for the area.”

Under the agreement, Henrico will receive the 3.3-acre library site at no cost. It will contribute $250,000 toward the construction of a lake plaza and other pedestrian features and will make a one-time payment of $150,000 in lieu of annual fees to a property owners association.

In exchange, Gumenick Properties will prepare the library site for construction. The company also will extend utilities and build roads and amenities, including the lake, plaza, walks, lighting and landscaping. Storm water runoff from the library will be managed offsite as part of the development of Staples Mill Centre.

Gumenick Properties estimates that when completed the cost of all buildings and improvements in Staples Mill Centre will be about $434 million.

“We’re proud to have the library in the neighborhood,” said Wayne A. Chasen, president and CEO of Gumenick Properties. “The facility complements our vision for Staples Mill Centre as a vibrant community, a regional destination and a pedestrian-friendly environment for people living near and in Staples Mill Centre.”

Before the library opens, Gumenick Properties will begin construction on the first of four private buildings that are planned along Staples Mill. The company will start construction of a second building before the first anniversary of the library’s opening.

The library is expected to cost about $30.5 million. Initially, only the building’s first and second floors will be finished. The facility will have 236 surface parking spaces.

Henrico voters approved funding in the 2005 bond referendum to replace the Dumbarton Area Library. The current Dumbarton Area Library, at 6800 Staples Mill, is about 1.5 miles west of the site for Staples Mill Centre. At 22,500 square feet, the library opened in 1976 following a renovation of what had been Dumbarton Elementary School.

The 80-acre Staples Mill Centre is planned in accordance with the land’s urban-mixed use zoning designation, which was approved in 2007. Upon completion, the community will have about 2,000 residential units, plus 100,000 square feet of retail space and 50,000 square feet of office space.

Based in Henrico, Gumenick Properties is a real-estate development and property management company with operations throughout the Southeast. Founded in the late-1940s, the company engages primarily in the development and operation of apartments and in homebuilding. Gumenick Properties is currently developing the Grayson Hill and Monument Square communities in Henrico.


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

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health. > Read more.

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.

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