For Derek Stamey, Goochland’s deputy county administrator for operations, it’s been a busy few months.
Despite the fact that county offices have been closed to the public since the county declared a state of emergency on Maatch 13, plenty of ongoing building projects and facility upgrades — including the long-awaited new animal shelter and adoption center — have continued to move forward.
This means that Stamey and his colleagues are now eagerly eying the finish line on several projects, despite the occasional coronavirus-related obstacle they have had to surmount.
This month the county will begin transitioning staff from the Animal Control department into the nearly-completed new shelter and pet adoption center, a 13,941 square foot acility that will replace the former cramped space that had been located on the same Hidden Rock Lane site.
The new building, once open, will mark the end of a project Stamey admitted was among the most challenging he’s faced.
Despite a tremendously successful fundraising campaign by the Goochland Pet Lovers, the private half of the innovative public-private partnership that made the state-of-the-art new facility possible, the process has hit several snags since breaking ground in August of 2017. In addition to weather-related delays, construction was significantly held-up after the county terminated its original building contract with BFE Construction, the general contractor on the project, and begun working with the company that issued a performance bond for the work in order to get back on track.
Stamey said the county was fortunate that Hourigan Construction, the new contractor on the project, had been able to step in and get the shelter work back on track, and also praised the work of county staff members for their continued efforts, calling them “phenomenal.”
In addition to the shelter building itself, which is tentatively slated to open in June but will likely be remained closed to the public initially due to the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, residents will also soon be able to enjoy several other recent additions to the Hidden Rock Park complex.
An extended trail system in Hidden Rock Park, courtesy of the Goochland Rotary Club, will include a connection with the new shelter via a new boardwalk completed be county staff in March. Shelter volunteers will be able to walk animals all the way from the facility to a new dog park that is also set to open soon.
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As work continued on the animal shelter, plenty of other projects were also moving full steam ahead.
In late February the Goochland Chamber of Commerce joined the county’s Economic Development Office as co-tenants in the county’s new Goochland Business Center.
Another key partnership will soon be helping Goochland roll out the welcome mat for those visiting the county. While an opening date is yet to be determined, the new Goochland History Center is planned for the Courthouse area building that previously housed the county’s Tucker’s Tots childhood development program.
The facility will serve as both a welcome center for the county, offering information on local history and attractions, as well as the new home of the Goochland County Historical Society.
Of all the planned changes to county facilities, perhaps one of the most appreciated by staff may come in June, when the Goochland Registrar’s Office is relocated to the former Goochland County Extension Office behind the current administration building (the Extension Office is now housed at the Central High School Complex on Dog Town Road.)