Mayor Jones and City Officials Open NewlyRenovated and Expanded Bellemeade Community Center

Mayor Dwight C. Jones was joined by Richmond City Council Vice PresidentEllen Robertson, School Board member Shonda Harris–Muhammed, and Dr. Norman Merrifield, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities in cutting the ribbon to reopen the newly renovated and expanded Bellemeade Community Center todayFollowing the ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Jones led a brief tour of the center’s new features forattending public and media. The City also hosted a family fun day to celebrate the reopening ofthe community center.

Mayor Jones stated, “Opening this community center today and the adjacent new school which we opened in early January, are clear demonstrations of the City’s commitment of investing inresources to enhance the future of our children. It is very exciting to see the smiles on the children of Bellemeade and the community as a whole, as we toured the new features within and surrounding this wonderful facility.”

Community centers are the place where friendships are made, talents discovered, the abundant of resources shared, teams formed and where the most treasured memories are experienced. Community centers are fundamental to a wholesome quality of neighborhood life.” comments Councilwoman Ellen Robertson.

With the new expansion, the original 16,580 square feet facility is now 28,680 square feet.Facility features include a new fitness center, fully enclosed pool area with pool seating, handicap-accessible chair lift, new coping around pool, energy efficient pool dehumidification unit, realignment of sports fields with new sports lighting, kitchen, new computer workstation counters in community room, expansion of main floor to include a clinic with two exam rooms with private restroom, new elevator, and installation of a fire alarm and security system. Total construction costs were $3.6 million. VMDO Architects was the design firm on the project and the construction firm was Martin Brothers Contractors.

“Through this wonderful facility our staff will be able to inspire others, both young and old to
dream more, learn more, and do more, and become the very best they can be in their work and play,” says Dr. Norman Merrifield.