Scouts to get $7M facility, new Pinewood Derby track to boot

BoyScoutsBetter

Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of Virginia Council headquarters at 4501 Fitzhugh Ave. and on the right, Baskervill’s rendering of the future Center for Scouting at the Stony Point office park.

A local nonprofit has a plan to raise a big pot of money to give Richmond Boy Scouts a new place to play and learn.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of Virginia Council will soon launch a capital campaign to raise $7 million for a new Center for Scouting in the Stony Point Office Park.

Local architecture firm Baskervill recently unveiled its design for the 23,000-square-foot center – complete with an indoor treehouse and rock climbing wall. And, what would a Boy Scout haven be without Pinewood Derby track?

Deputy Scout Executive Todd Martin said he hopes the new center will propel the council “into the next century of Scouting.”

“We said, ‘What are we missing? What do we need to do better?’” Martin said. “A lot of factors pointed to the center. It will raise our profile in the community. It will give us more space.”

The new facility will be built on two acres at 9020 Stony Point Parkway. The organization is under contract to purchase the wooded lot near Chippenham Parkway for $500,000.

Martin said the organization hopes to close on the land in September. It’s currently part of a 21-acre site owned by Highwoods Properties, which also owns the Stony Point Office Park.

The new Center for Scouting will replace the council’s current headquarters – a cramped, 10,000-square-foot, 1950s office building at 4015 Fitzhugh Ave. in the West End.

Boy Scouts Interior (submitted by Baskervill): ?The center will feature an indoor rock climbing wall and treehouse.

Boy Scouts Interior (submitted by Baskervill): ?The center will feature an indoor rock climbing wall and treehouse.

In addition to the fun, kid-friendly features, the center will have training space for the council’s 6,000 or so adult volunteers and office space for its 30 full-time and part-time employees. The current facility has one meeting space that can fit just 45 people.

“We’re still in the dream phase: what else can we do with this property?” Martin said.

Timmons Group is doing the site engineering for the center. A builder has not yet been selected. Martin said Baskervill is offering its services at a discounted rate.

Mark Larson, the principal architect for the project and a longtime Boy Scouts volunteer, was part of the committee that got the effort off the ground.

“We really started thinking about what could it be? We really wanted it to be about the kids,” he said.

The committee asked everyone to write down five words they thought should describe the new center.

“Everybody, without exception, wrote ‘fun,’” Larson said. “I wouldn’t say our existing facility is fun. It’s functional – but not fun.”

Scouts will one day come to the new center to sign up, get uniforms or participate in merit badge programs or other special events but will still attend regular troop meetings in their communities. Many troops meet at local churches, for example, Martin said. The plans also include an outdoor amphitheater.

Heart of Virginia Council serves 13,000 kids in 24 counties and four cities in central Virginia. The new facility will be located in the geographic center of its service area. Chartered in 1913, the council celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

The council operates on a $3.3-million annual budget, Martin said. The group aims to raise $1.5 million of its $7 million capital campaign goal by the end of 2014.

BoyScoutsBetter

Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of Virginia Council headquarters at 4501 Fitzhugh Ave. and on the right, Baskervill’s rendering of the future Center for Scouting at the Stony Point office park.

A local nonprofit has a plan to raise a big pot of money to give Richmond Boy Scouts a new place to play and learn.

The Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of Virginia Council will soon launch a capital campaign to raise $7 million for a new Center for Scouting in the Stony Point Office Park.

Local architecture firm Baskervill recently unveiled its design for the 23,000-square-foot center – complete with an indoor treehouse and rock climbing wall. And, what would a Boy Scout haven be without Pinewood Derby track?

Deputy Scout Executive Todd Martin said he hopes the new center will propel the council “into the next century of Scouting.”

“We said, ‘What are we missing? What do we need to do better?’” Martin said. “A lot of factors pointed to the center. It will raise our profile in the community. It will give us more space.”

The new facility will be built on two acres at 9020 Stony Point Parkway. The organization is under contract to purchase the wooded lot near Chippenham Parkway for $500,000.

Martin said the organization hopes to close on the land in September. It’s currently part of a 21-acre site owned by Highwoods Properties, which also owns the Stony Point Office Park.

The new Center for Scouting will replace the council’s current headquarters – a cramped, 10,000-square-foot, 1950s office building at 4015 Fitzhugh Ave. in the West End.

Boy Scouts Interior (submitted by Baskervill): ?The center will feature an indoor rock climbing wall and treehouse.

Boy Scouts Interior (submitted by Baskervill): ?The center will feature an indoor rock climbing wall and treehouse.

In addition to the fun, kid-friendly features, the center will have training space for the council’s 6,000 or so adult volunteers and office space for its 30 full-time and part-time employees. The current facility has one meeting space that can fit just 45 people.

“We’re still in the dream phase: what else can we do with this property?” Martin said.

Timmons Group is doing the site engineering for the center. A builder has not yet been selected. Martin said Baskervill is offering its services at a discounted rate.

Mark Larson, the principal architect for the project and a longtime Boy Scouts volunteer, was part of the committee that got the effort off the ground.

“We really started thinking about what could it be? We really wanted it to be about the kids,” he said.

The committee asked everyone to write down five words they thought should describe the new center.

“Everybody, without exception, wrote ‘fun,’” Larson said. “I wouldn’t say our existing facility is fun. It’s functional – but not fun.”

Scouts will one day come to the new center to sign up, get uniforms or participate in merit badge programs or other special events but will still attend regular troop meetings in their communities. Many troops meet at local churches, for example, Martin said. The plans also include an outdoor amphitheater.

Heart of Virginia Council serves 13,000 kids in 24 counties and four cities in central Virginia. The new facility will be located in the geographic center of its service area. Chartered in 1913, the council celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

The council operates on a $3.3-million annual budget, Martin said. The group aims to raise $1.5 million of its $7 million capital campaign goal by the end of 2014.

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