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

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden raises admission $1

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s admission has increased by $1 across all categories. Admission is now $12 for adults; $11 for seniors ages 55 and older; and $8 for children ages 3–12. Admission remains free for children ages 3 and younger and for members.

The last price increase was in 2011, before the Garden consistently hosted Butterflies LIVE! (which is included with admission). > Read more.

Garden tails

The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.

Western Henrico Rotary helps fund Midwives For Haiti Jeep


Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.

The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Take in a show at several locations this weekend! West End Comedy will provide laughs at HATTheatre; the production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes” will close Sunday; and the youth theatre company CharacterWorks will present “Footloose” at The Steward School. Another show perfect for the kids – “Despicable Me 2” is playing at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center tonight. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Is there an Echo in here?

‘Earth to Echo’ aims to become this generation’s ‘ET’
It’s no secret that all found-footage genre movies are the same. Grab a couple of characters, give one of them a camera, and expose them to something supernatural that’s content to lurk just off-screen until the last five minutes. Everything else will just fall into place.

But that formula isn’t particularly family friendly, if only because that thing waiting a few feet to the left of the cast is usually plotting their violent doom.

That’s what sets Earth to Echo apart from the pack. It, too, follows a group of characters armed with a camera and a tendency to encounter unknown life forms. But all those familiar parts have been rearranged just enough to make it suitable for a much younger audience. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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