‘This is what a library is supposed to feel like’

‘Refreshed’ Sandston Branch Library reopens to community

A brighter, more modern Sandston Branch Library reopened Wednesday with a celebration of its recent improvements, which include user-friendly shelving and fresh carpeting and paint throughout the building.

“I walked in, and I just said, ‘Wow!’” Varina District Supervisor Tyrone E. Nelson said before leading a ribbon-cutting ceremony to cap the library’s 12-week, $411,000 “refresh” project.

“It’s an investment, not just into the library but into the community,” he added. “Sandston is a part of Varina, and we’re making significant investments in the district as a whole, but sometimes a community needs to know there is some love there for them.”

Sandston library joins the new Fairfield Area Library and Varina Area Library, which opened in 2019 and 2016, respectively, as the latest Henrico County Public Library locations to receive an updated look and feel. Sandston’s new features include A-frame shelving, which facilitates browsing and book display, as well as upgraded audio and video equipment, eco-friendly landscaping and resurfaced parking lots. As an initial phase, the building’s lighting was updated last year to provide energy-efficient fixtures.

Sandston library will soon receive a Computer Work and Play Station, like those custom designed for the Fairfield Area Library. The popular, award-winning workstation, currently on order courtesy of the Friends of Henrico County Public Library, features an innovative design that allows caregivers to use a computer while sitting next to an attached play area for a small child.

Wednesday’s open house kicked off Sandston library’s return to normal hours and included a Family Storytime, a Lego building program, refreshments and other family-friendly activities.

In remarks to library staff, patrons and others gathered for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, County Manager John A. Vithoulkas recalled the original Sandston library, which stood from 1923 to 1980 and was operated by the Sandston Women’s Club. Noting the upgrades in technology and eco-friendly lighting and landscaping, Vithoulkas called the now-complete project “an opportunity for our Board of Supervisors to remind this community that Sandston’s future and potential are exciting and worthy of investment.”

“Today’s Sandston building serves as a fixture in the heart of our community,” he said. “It’s always been a welcoming place for all, and now its bright and open interior also feels welcoming … This is what a library is supposed to feel like.”

The Sandston library, 23 E. Williamsburg Road, is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. More information is at henricolibrary.org/sandston.

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