By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: January 9, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.
County leaders gather for first meeting inside new building
DINWIDDIE – Only hours after the building officially opened as the new center of county business for Dinwiddie, the governing body for the county held its first meeting within the walls of their new boardroom, taking care of procedural matters for the coming year.
Wednesday evening, members of the Dinwiddie County Board of Supervisors hosted their first meeting inside the Dinwiddie County Government Center, the new two-story, state-of-the-art building that houses much of the county’s departments under the same roof for the first time ever.
In similar vein to county employees getting right to work following the Christmas and New Year’s breaks, supervisors resumed their duties during last week’s meeting as the first meeting of the year, traditionally held the day following New Year’s Day, is set aside to handle the election of a new chairman and vice-chair for the 2019 calendar year, formally adopt the meeting schedule and board’s bylaws and ethical policies.
Continuing their tradition of rotating the position of chairman and vice-chair, following Dr. Mark Moore, District 2 representative, as chair was District 3 Supervisor William Chavis, who served as vice-chair during the previous year.
Joining Chavis in the board’s leadership position is District 4 Supervisor Daniel Lee, who transitions into the position after Chavis served in the role in 2018.
Supervisor Dr. Mark Moore is honored for his service to the Board as chairman during 2018 at this month’s organizational meeting. (Michael Campbell)
One of the first things discussed by Chavis during his first year on the Dinwiddie Board of Supervisors was the need for the county to look at addressing space needs for county departments. Last Wednesday, the collective work of the board and county was on display inside the new boardroom and building, an all-in-one hub for local government in the county.
Entering 2019, Chavis shared his thoughts on serving as chairman for a second time.
“I am looking forward to bringing broadband in along with a lot of neat things that we want to bring forward,” he said. “I am excited to work with [County Adminstrator] Kevin [Massengill] and the board to make the county an even better place than it is right now, which is good from where it was seven years ago.”
“If we look back [on 2019] and we exceeded what we expected to do when we get to 2020, that is my vision,” Chavis closed.
Those views were echoed by his fellow board leader and new vice-chair Daniel Lee.
“Mr. Chavis and I are very good friends so I know we will work well together and, should he not be at a meeting, I am more than happy to fill in and do whatever he asks me to do,” he said.
“Going into 2019, we want to continue what we’re going,” Lee added, stressing the vital role of the new government center and its impacts on his constituents in Dinwiddie’s southern end, providing them access to all county services in one location for the first time.
Last Wednesday’s meeting served as a test run for the new boardroom that finds its home of the first floor of the Dinwiddie County Government Center. Meeting attendees were able to enter the building through a direct entrance that carries visitors to the boardroom seating area, restrooms, and an open foyer area.
The new boardroom features the same amount of seating as their previous venue inside the Pamplin Administration Building. (Michael Campbell/The Dinwiddie Monitor)
One of the advantages this new facility has over their former home across the parking lot at the Pamplin Administration Building comes in the area of security. With their new boardroom featuring direct entrances and exits to the parking lot, security can lock off the rest of the building while allowing the public to attend a board meeting unencumbered without being able to wander through other rest of the building that might be closed for the day, such as during public hearings, which typically occur after business hours.
Along the walls of the foyers are images of the seated supervisors, along with the elected constitutional officers.
Inside, the new meeting area features the same amount of seating that the supervisors’ former meeting space in the Pamplin Administration Building, with three aisles to allow for easier entry and exit to the seating area. In addition, the podium where county departments, outside agencies and members of the public will deliver their remarks to supervisors is centered, allowing for attendees on both sides to see presenters clearly.
Regarding presenters, the new boardroom features major technological upgrades, such as sound improvements along with four large monitors strategically placed along the walls inside the room, allowing for members of the public to be able to follow along comfortably with presentations, videos or other elements being presented during meetings.
With supervisors now meeting inside the Dinwiddie County Government Center, their old home inside the Pamplin Administration Building becomes the next phase of the ongoing project within the center of the Village of Dinwiddie.
The building will be renovated over the course of the first half of the year to become the new central office of Dinwiddie County Public Schools. Currently, the school division occupies the lower level of the Pamplin Building, but, once the project is completed, DCPS will expand through the building, allowing them to bring a number of departments, including school nutrition, back under the same roof.
The boardroom in the Pamplin Building will remain the home of the Dinwiddie County School Board, with it too in line to receive some upgrades and renovations during the course of 2019.
Along with the school board, the voter registrar’s office will also remain inside the Pamplin Building as they will also be receiving enhancements to their workspace as part of the ongoing project.
Mid-year 2019 is the tentative completion date for the entire $26 million project that dates back nearly a decade in conception and roughly two years in terms of execution. Work began on the Dinwiddie County Government Center and Public Safety Building a short walk away in late 2016 into 2017.
Through 2017, both buildings took shape with the Public Safety Building, the new home of the Dinwiddie Sheriff’s Office, Fire and EMS and emergency communications, opening its doors to the community in the summer of 2018. Just a few months later, the new government center reached substantial completion, with full operations inside the building beginning as early as December 28, but January 2 marked the beginning of the county’s operation inside the center.
The community is invited to visit the government center on January 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for an open house event where residents can tour the building.