State of the County address reflects on ‘moon shots’

By building two high schools simultaneously, acquiring 1,200 acres on the James River and pursuing an indoor sports complex, Henrico County shows it’s willing to make bold moves to ensure the community’s success, County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said during his State of the County address for 2019.

Speaking Wednesday to about 300 business and community leaders at the Short Pump Hilton, Vithoulkas highlighted a series of “moon shots” — projects, initiatives and other accomplishments — from the past year.

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Advocating for a better home

Henrico sees opportunity when apartment complexes get new owners

In welcoming an improved Hope Village during today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, Henrico officials said their experiences with the project validated the county’s new approach for seeking better living conditions at older apartment complexes.

Fairstead Affordable, operating as Hope Preservation LP, bought the property in 2018 and invested more than $5 million in renovations as part of a $14 million tax-exempt financing package. The financing was approved by the Henrico Board of Supervisors based on the complex’s location and issued through the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

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Henrico Board authorizes negotiations over indoor sports, convocation center

Proposal by Rebkee could spur revitalization of Virginia Center Commons

The Henrico County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday authorized negotiations for an indoor sports and convocation center that would be developed on the property of Virginia Center Commons mall.

With its unanimous vote, the board accepted the recommendation of a working group and County Manager John A. Vithoulkas to enter formal talks with The Rebkee Company. The real estate development firm was one of three companies to respond to Henrico’s request for proposals for a venue that could host indoor sports and other large gatherings, such as high school graduations.

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Work starts on new Tucker, Highland Springs

Replacement high schools expected to open for 2021-22 school year

Construction has begun on a new J.R. Tucker High School and a new Highland Springs High School, a pair of ambitious projects that will deliver modern, state-of-the-art facilities to replace two of Henrico County’s oldest high schools.

County government and school officials commemorated the start of work at twin ground-breaking ceremonies held Nov. 1 with students, staff and other guests.

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Henrico taps Tretina for chief of staff position

Henrico County has appointed Cari M. Tretina as chief of staff to the county manager, effective Saturday, Oct. 12.

Tretina currently serves as director of administration for Henrico’s Division of Fire, a position she has held since April 2017.

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Henrico gives students work experience

In August, four high school freshmen earned a big opportunity. The Cristo Rey Richmond students became paid Henrico County interns.

“I like learning to work because this will help me so much in the future,” said student Celiana Gutierrez Ayala.

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County leaders break ground on new pickleball courts

Henrico County leaders broke ground on Aug. 3 for eight new outdoor pickleball courts under construction at Pouncey Tract Park.

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. The paddle sport combines elements of ping pong, badminton and tennis.

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Tour sharpens vision for indoor sports and convocation center

Update: On Aug. 13, the Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to authorize the county manager to request detailed proposals for an indoor sports and convocation center. The six entities that submitted initial proposals will be invited to offer detailed proposals that would include a controllable site for the center and the county’s purchase price for the land.

Henrico officials recently toured an indoor sports and events venue in Rocky Mount, N.C. as the county prepares to sharpen its pursuit of a similar facility here.

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