The Hanover County Board of Supervisors on March 8 approved full funding to build the Montpelier Recreation Center and Library. This facility will be a hub for the community to gather and enjoy a much-expanded branch of the Pamunkey Regional Library, additional classroom space and a full-size gymnasium with a larger stage.
“This truly is a culmination of community input and effort,” said Susan P. Dibble, South Anna District’s representative on the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. “So many people have played a part in this project. It will be a community center for all families in western Hanover County.”
Even the appearance of the building, which will be located near the existing Montpelier Center for Arts and Education, will be unique. Dibble said it is designed to resemble a rustic barn like so many structures in rural western Hanover.
The new library will be four times the size of the current library with meeting rooms and additional classroom space for Parks & Recreation programs. The gymnasium will accommodate multiple sports and fitness classes with a stage that can be used for public performances.
Expanded parking will serve the new 20,000-square-foot recreation center and the existing Montpelier building. A pedestrian plaza will make it easy for residents to walk between both facilities.
Another component of the project is a reconstruction of the adjacent Wickham Field. It will be designed to support youth baseball and softball activities with lighting and new restrooms.
“I’m very excited about this project,” said Dibble, in whose district the facility will be located. “I think it will be a great amenity for the citizens of western Hanover and I am looking forward to it opening next year.”
The new library space will be operated by the Pamunkey Regional Library System and will replace the existing branch located within the Montpelier Center for Arts and Education. Hanover County Parks and Recreation will manage facility scheduling and activity planning for the classrooms and gymnasium.
Dibble and her predecessor in the South Anna District seat on the Board, Wayne Hazzard, had sought community input on the project along with the late Aubrey M. Stanley, longtime Beaverdam District supervisor.
“I think this is a great thing for the residents of western Hanover,” said Beaverdam District Supervisor Rob Manolo. “I know it was very close to Bucky Stanley’s heart and he and Sue Dibble worked so hard on it and it’s great to see that it’s finally coming to fruition.”
A groundbreaking ceremony is expected this spring with construction slated to take about 18 months.