Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mayor Jones Issues Statement on City Council Leadership Elections

Mayor Dwight C. Jones issued the following statement today on the outcome of the City Council President and Vice President elections.

"I offer my sincere congratulations to all newly sworn-in members of Richmond City Council.  Special congratulations go to newly elected Richmond City Council President Charles Samuels and Richmond City Council Vice President Ellen Robertson. Their leadership, foresight and attention to detail will benefit all of us as we continue to work together to address issues in our city. As we enter 2013, our city is poised for great things!  We have made much progress and have had many accomplishments over the past four years. I look forward to working with the entire Council as we continue to Build a Better Richmond.

“President Samuels will bring his parliamentary skills and his level judgment to the job.  He has a balanced approached to complex problems.

“Vice President Robertson brings her experience and grace under pressure to her continuing role.

“I would like to thank outgoing City Council President Kathy Graziano for her hard work, guidance and expertise as we worked together to make Richmond a Tier One City.”

City Opens Two New Elementary Schools

Two new elementary schools opened today in the city of Richmond.  School children returning from winter break at Oak Grove–Bellemeade and Broad Rock Elementary Schools began classes in new facilities today with river and forest themes, outdoor learning spaces and community wings; to name a few amenities.

“There are no schools like these in the city of Richmond,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “It was very exciting to open these two schools today and to see the look on the children’s faces as they entered their new classrooms.”

Mayor Jones held a ribbon cutting ceremony along with members of Richmond City Council and Richmond Public Schools Board.  A brief tour of each school was taken before the student bodies were addressed in each school’s Commons area.

Oak Grove–Bellemeade is a 91,000 square foot facility with campus construction costs of $20,689,189; and Broad Rock is a 94,136 square foot facility with construction costs of $19,882,309. There is wireless technology throughout each school, dedicated small group learning spaces, and shared use design concepts. The schools also have extensive day lighting to improve classroom environments and reduce energy consumption. Broad Rock has dedicated community space, including a health facility which can be utilized during school hours. At Oak Grove–Bellemeade, the campus combines the new elementary school with an expanded and renovated Parks & Recreation Community Center that will offer a full array of services and benefits to the local community. The Bellemeade Community Center is undergoing final preparations and will include a new fitness center, a fully enclosed pool area and realignment of sports fields with new sports lighting.

 “These new schools afford our students the opportunity to experience wonderful learning environments that are equipped with 21st century technology that will further promote student achievement and help our children to continue to excel. These schools are citadels of hope for the students, the families and the communities they serve,” said Richmond Public School Superintendent, Dr. Yvonne Brandon.

VMDO Architects was the design firm on the project and the construction firm was Martin Brothers Contractors. Input from the faculty, administration and the local community played an integral part in the design process. Mayor Jones thanked everyone for their “forward-looking vision” for the new schools.

“These schools will better position the school district to meet the educational needs of students,” said Mayor Jones. “None of this would have been possible without the City Council and the School Board all working together or without the help of the people of these communities.”