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Middleburg’s New Town Hall & A Celebration of Community

Middleburg’s New Town Hall & A Celebration of Community

Written by Dulcy B. Hooper | Photos by Gracie Savage

The festive and well-attended ribbon-cutting that took place on Friday, May 31, was the culmination of a project that had been in the works for over 15 years.

“It was a nice punctuation mark on a really long process,” says Chris Bernard, vice mayor and member of the Middleburg Town Council. “The ribbon-cutting went very well, and Mayor Bridge Littleton really tied things together with a great description of what community means and how this building and project are so integral to that community.”

Bernard, who lives in Middleburg with his wife, Michelle, and son, Maverick, has served as vice mayor since January, with a term that runs through the end of 2025. This is his second full term as a member of the Town Council. Bernard and his wife are the owners of The PLAYroom on Washington Street. 

“Serving the town government is my way of giving back to the community that we love so much,” he shares. “It’s something I’m really proud to have been a small part of. I believe it will be a great benefit to the community for so many years to come.” Bernard applauds the involvement of the entire Town Council, but adds that “the real kudos go to Rhonda North, Danny Davis, and Will Moore, as well as the rest of the staff that made this a reality.”

Rhonda North, the town clerk, says that her involvement in the project was inspired by the condition of the former Town Office, which had housed Middleburg’s government since 1964. “While it was a beautiful old building and it allowed everyone to be close,” she notes, “it had a lot of problems.” During North’s tenure in the old building, it underwent mold remediation three times. “It was simply an unhealthy building to spend any significant amount of time in.” 

Additionally, the Town’s management team had outgrown the space. The employees were working in cramped, confined areas and North remembers that “there were very few spaces that allowed for private conversations if you needed to have one with a citizen.” Adding that she often watched visitors struggle to come into the building for services or meetings because of a lack of accessibility features, North concludes, “No one should be in a position where they cannot access their local government because of [the] building.” 

About working on the project, North stresses how important it was to everyone involved that the building not only function as intended, but that it fit within the Historic District and felt like it was “Middleburg.” Among North’s initial efforts, she oversaw the contract with the architect who identified the size the building needed to be to support the Town government operations for the next 50 years. 

The new Town Hall will house administrative offices as well as the Police Department, in addition to conference rooms available to the public, green space in the front and back, public parking throughout the week, restrooms, and even EV charging stations.

Hundreds of locals gathered for the Middleburg Day festivities.

The inaugural Middleburg Day, during which the Town Hall ribbon-cutting took place, was Bernard’s idea, prompted by feedback from residents who were concerned about the growing tourism market and the potential to lose the town’s identity. “I thought it would be appropriate — and fun — to officially take a day each year to celebrate Middleburg and our community’s history and traditions,” he shares. 

“This year’s picnic was a tremendous success,” Bernard continues. “It was well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Several local businesses came together to make it a really special, locally-focused event.” In fact, so successful was the May 31 event that the Town Council adopted a proclamation on June 13 designating the first Friday after Memorial Day as the official “Middleburg Day.” 

Bernard encourages the public to come check out the new Town Hall — attend a meeting, volunteer for a committee, or check out an event like the Middleburg Farmers Market, which runs on Saturdays behind Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. through October.   

North expresses her hope that “everyone will love it as much as I and the rest of the Town staff do, and that it is able to successfully serve the community for many, many years to come.” ML

For more of Gracie’s photos from Middleburg Day, click here.

Middleburg Town Hall
10 W. Marshall Street
P.O. Box 187
Middleburg, VA 20118
(540) 687-5152

Published in the July 2024 issue of Middleburg Life

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