Deican Jones works his rod and reel from the cool shade at Shields Lake in Byrd Park during a recent fishing expedition. In this instance, the fish that was nibbling at his line got away.
Cityscape // In this view from Hull Street Road, the old Elkhardt Middle School still looks sturdy and sound, despite being closed. However, the rear of the building tells the real story — that demolition of the building is underway. Built around 1940 for Chesterfield County, Elkhardt became part of the Richmond public school system in 1970 as the result of the city’s annexation of a portion of Chesterfield. In 2015, the building was closed and students were moved after an air quality study found high levels of mold and other problems.
Cityscape // Today, Elkhardt lives as the combined Elkhardt-Thompson Middle School located about 5 miles north on Forest Hill Avenue. RPS officials said demolishing the old Elkhardt building at 6300 Hull St. Road would provide space for a new middle school for the growing population in South Side and overflow of students at Elkhardt-Thompson. However, the mayor and Richmond City Council have not provided the estimated $50 million needed for a new building.
He’s officially on duty //
Melvin D. Carter takes the oath of office Monday as the 21st chief of the Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services. His mother proudly holds the Bible as the 54-year-old Richmond native takes the oath of office in the City Council Chamber with Mayor Levar M. Stoney nearby.
State Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan, right, presents Free Press Publisher Jean Patterson Boone with a resolution honoring the award-winning newspaper on its 25th anniversary of serving and informing people in the Greater Richmond community. The presentation, also attended by Raymond H. Boone Jr., Free Press vice president of new business development, was held Tuesday in Sen. McClellan’s office in the Pocahontas Building on Capitol Square. The resolution was co-sponsored by the Richmond and Henrico delegations, Sen. McClellan noted, and was passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. The resolution commended the publication on its commitment to “free expression and robust debate” and its work to “facilitate openness and accountability in local and state government,” along with its efforts to address complex issues facing the people in the Richmond area.
Eggleston Plaza opens // Eggleston Plaza, a new, mixed-use complex with 31 affordable apartments, opens with speeches, applause and a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday in Jackson Ward. The complex at 2nd and Leigh streets is the site of the former Eggleston Hotel. During segregation, the historic hotel served civil rights leaders, famous entertainers and other African-Americans who were barred from other Richmond hotels because of the color of their skin. At the microphone, Kelvin Hanson, the developer and partner in the $6 million project, addresses the crowd, including Neverett A. Eggleston Sr., seated, who owned and operated the Eggleston Hotel, and several Eggleston family members.
The first residents are expected to move in in August, while a restaurant to be run by the family, is slated to open later.
Tranquil scene in Pocahontas State Park
The art of dance //
Members of the City Dance Theatre take to the stage at Dogwood Dell last Friday to perform as part of the 2017 Festival of Arts. The troupe, under the direction of Annette Holt and Rodney Williams, has a repertoire that ranges from classical ballet and dramatic reflections of African-American history to contemporary jazz and modern dance. Its 18 members range in age from 9 to 18.
Graffiti hits church building //
Riverview Baptist Church is left to deal with graffiti that was spraypainted on the side of its vacant auxiliary building. A former disability services center, the building is set to become the home of the Carol Adams Foundation, which serves victims of domestic violence. Church officials said the vandalism took place sometime between Saturday night, July 1, and morning services on Sunday, July 2. Location: Idlewood Avenue and Robinson Street across from Fountain Lake in Byrd Park.