Booker T. Anderson Community Center, Jr. restoration faces more delay

Booker T. Anderson Community Center restoration faces more delay
The Booker T. Anderson Community Center has been closed since October 2020 due to a fire. (Photo taken by Kathy Chouteau in 2022)

Nearly four years after being damaged in a fire, repairs on the Booker T. Anderson Community Center in Richmond are nearing completion, according to city staff.

But there are a few more steps that are needed, which will come with additional costs.

The community center at 960 South 47th St. has been shuttered since it was damaged in a fire on Oct. 28, 2020 that began in an adjacent encampment.

The fire impacted the west side of the building, including the library, multiuse rooms and graphics arts rooms.

After efforts to repair the building with an initial contractor fell through due to contractual disputes, a subsequent contractor, Arntz Builders, joined the project. In documents appearing on the agenda for the City Council meeting this Tuesday, city staff said Arntz Builders completed most of the necessary work in Fall 2023.

During construction last fall, it was determined that a portion of the HVAC system that wasn’t impacted by the fire needs to be replaced, as well. At Tuesday’s meeting, city staff will request that Council approve up to $1 million in additional funding to complete related work. If the Council approves the additional funding, the total project cost would increase to about $4.4 million.