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Over $1.2 million in renovations slated for nonprofit’s golf course, facilities in Northside

The First Tee of Richmond’s six-hole golf course will be open to the public and used by VCU’s Golf Team following the extensive project.

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In a joint announcement held Monday, the City of Richmond, The First Tee of Greater Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University announced a partnership that will include $1.2 million in renovations that will transform The First Tee golf facility in the city’s Northside.

Renovations include the restoration of a six-hole golf course, which will become the short-game practice facility of the VCU men’s golf team, in addition to being available for public use. The driving range and course are expected to be completed and open to the public in October. In addition to the golf course and driving range, the current clubhouse will be revamped into a youth-centric space that is a safe, innovative learning environment.

Photo: The First Tee

“Our new facility will be among the finest practice facilities in all of Central Virginia and a destination for golfers of all ages and skill sets,” said Brent Schneider, executive director and CEO of The First Tee of Greater Richmond. “We’re grateful to partner with VCU and the City of Richmond in turning our vision of a splendid, interactive facility to meet the needs of our programs and the Richmond golfing community into a reality.”

First Tee, a nonprofit organization, aims to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill values through the game of golf.

“The First Tee has made a tremendous impact on the city’s youth for nearly 15 years while bringing golf to downtown Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “The City of Richmond is proud to partner with the organization and VCU to continue to make an impact on our children and offer a world-class facility to our residents.”

The turf renovations to the six-hole course and driving range will be supported through private donations as part of a partnership with VCU Athletics, with 80 percent of the funding coming from VCU and the remaining 20 percent coming from The First Tee of Greater Richmond. The clubhouse renovation will be funded entirely through private support of The First Tee of Greater Richmond.

“We pride ourselves at VCU on improving our facilities and helping to enhance the community while we do it,” said Ed McLaughlin, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Partnering with The First Tee of Greater Richmond and the City of Richmond gives us the opportunity to provide a first-class short-game practice facility for our golf program while also enhancing the golf experience for people in Richmond. We look forward to building even more partnerships with Richmond and the surrounding community in the future.”

Details of the renovations from The First Tee are as follows:

  • Six-hole golf course: Re-establishing the turf, converting the greens to Champion Bermuda grass and upgrading bunkers with premium sand
  • Driving range: Laser-leveling and re-sodding the practice tees with Latitude Bermuda grass and reshaping the range to feature targets for patrons to take aim
  • Clubhouse: Transforming it into a youth-centric space that provides a safe, innovative learning environment that includes:
    • An interactive community room
    • Two Trackman 4 simulators
    • A collaborative afterschool hangout to excite youth participants and enable coaches and mentors to increase the impact on all patrons
    • A small retail center

Renovations at the Elson Redmond Memorial Driving Range, which opened on School Street near Battery Park in 2003, began in July of 2016 with the overhaul of the six-hole golf course and have continued through the summer with the rebuilding of the driving range.

The design improvements are being led by renowned golf course architect Lester George, who created the initial design for the site as well as The Tattersall Youth Development Center at The First Tee Chesterfield course, and Hourigan Construction has been contracted to renovate and recondition the clubhouse. Flourish Spaces is assisting in the design aesthetics of the new clubhouse.

See the full renovation plans here (PDF).

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Education

Henrico students set to showcase their skills to employers at Career Rodeo Skills Challenge

As at a traditional rodeo, the HCPS participants will wear numbers as they show off their skills, to make it easier for spectators to identify them. After past editions of the Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, employers requested resumes and interviews from hundreds of students.

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Henrico County Public Schools students will demonstrate their skills for potential employers at the 2023 Career and Technical Education Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, to be held Feb. 23 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.

This year’s event will provide a new crop of students the chance to launch their careers, and employers the opportunity to fill critical positions with skilled employees.

The event will enable students to show what they’ve learned in the school division’s career and technical education programs, to form connections and lay the groundwork for employment. Students from HCPS’ Advanced Career Education — or ACE – centers will solve work-based challenges in front of potential employers, who can request resumes and even interview students on the spot.

As at a traditional rodeo, the HCPS participants will wear numbers as they show off their skills, to make it easier for spectators to identify them. After past editions of the Career Rodeo Skills Challenge, employers requested resumes and interviews from hundreds of students.

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Education

Nominate an incredible HCPS educator for the 2023 REB Award for Teaching Excellence

Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

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Central Virginia recipients of the REB Awards for Teaching Excellence have earned graduate degrees, climbed mountains, studied the effects of climate change, traced their ancestors and met peers from around the world — all to reignite their own passion for learning and to pass it on to their students. Each of their REB journeys started with a nomination.

Nominate the special Henrico County Public Schools teacher in your life for an REB Award for Teaching Excellence. Nominations are due Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. The annual awards provide a tangible, public way to recognize outstanding HCPS instructors — and give them the means to continue growing. The awards are given by the Community Foundation, and identify, recognize and support teaching excellence in the Richmond area. Honorees receive professional development grants, given to teachers who have distinguished themselves by their inspiring classroom performance. Grants have been increased and range from $5,000 to $15,000.

Through a nomination process, approximately 15 outstanding teachers are selected each year to receive cash grants to support professional development activities. Nominations are invited from parents, students, educators and the community at large. Individuals may nominate only one teacher. Teachers may not be nominated by their principal and may not nominate themselves.

Nominations must be made online. A letter in support of the nomination must be written by another individual and submitted online with the nomination.

Who: The Community Foundation invites nominations from students, parents, colleagues, school staff and administrators (except for the school principal), and members of the community.

When: Nominations and letters of support must be submitted online by Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.

How: Go to henricoschools.us and look under “What’s Trending” for a link with full details, or visit cfrichmond.org/REB. For questions regarding nominations, email Tracie Weston, HCPS’ director of professional learning and leadership, at [email protected].

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Education

Student entrepreneurs win beverage competition with cold brew iced tea product that counteracts negative caffeine side effects

A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

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A group of 16 University of Richmond student entrepreneurs will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that delivers “controlled energy”, emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

“Bench Top Innovations: Creating & Commercializing Culinary Magic,” is a year-long program where students ideate, develop, and commercialize an innovative and practical food or beverage product. The course is a partnership between UR’s Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Robins School of Business, the Jepson School of Leadership, and the School of Arts and Sciences.

Students worked in teams and presented their products to a panel of judges that included University leaders and food and beverage investors during a pitch competition last month. At stake — funding for further product development and becoming the sole focus of the class. Next semester, all 16 students will work as one unit to launch and scale their business around the winning product, Lume.

“Lume is a cold brew black iced tea with added caffeine and L-Theanine, a natural amino acid,” said junior Grace Clarke, the drink’s co-creator. They will offer the tea in a variety of flavors, including super berry.

In their pitch, the Lume team highlighted the use of L-Theanine, which occurs naturally in plants, as a component of their product to boost energy and counteract the typical side effects of caffeine, like jitters or trouble sleeping. They have labeled this “controlled energy.”

“We learned that caffeine and L-Theanine were a great balance,” said Clarke.

“The judges chose Lume because they thought it was the product most ready to hit the shelves,” said marketing lecturer Joel Mier, who co-teaches the course with Executive-in-Residence and Health Warrior co-founder Shane Emmett.

This year’s other ideas included several non-dairy options and an orange juice/protein powder mix.

The year-long CIE Benchtop Innovation program is designed to emphasize creativity, inspire innovation, and spark entrepreneurship. The winner of the inaugural competition last year was Absurd Snacks, a roasted bean-based trail mix designed for people with food allergies, which is now available online and at many retailers.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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