REGIONAL VIEW central virginia

Stage curtain company is playing to national audience by Veronica Garabelli

from one of the most famous venues in the country — the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. LuXout Stage Curtains


is set to start in December on a more than $100,000 contract to produce 23 cur- tains, which will be up to 30 feet tall. They will be used in a $119.5 million expansion at the Kennedy Center, which is adding studios, classrooms, meeting rooms, a lecture hall and an event space. The project, which is under con- struction, is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018. “When you get a very large building made out of a lot of concrete and steel, you get a lot of reverbera- tion,” says Ned Dunford, the LuXout salesman who landed the contract. “These curtains


The Amherst Milling Co. is slated to come under the management of a Petersburg- based developer, Dave McCormack, who intends to convert the historic structure into a hydro-powered brewery. The mill, owned by only two families since its construction around 1900, has been for sale for several years, according to current co-owner Richard Wydner, and is one of the last standing and able-to-function water-powered mills in the state. (The News & Advance)

The impending divorce between Virginia’s information technology agency and Northrop Grumman is getting more expensive, but the question is: Who will pay the bill? The Virginia Information Technologies Agency filed a $300 million countersuit against the McLean-based technology giant in June,

Photo courtesy LuXout Stage Curtains

Richmond-based stage curtain maker has landed a project

LuXout will produce 23 curtains for the Kennedy Center. The curtains will be used in the center’s $119.5 million expansion.

schools. Since the recession,

Specialty Group’s sales have increased an average of 22 percent a year. From 2016 to 2017, sales jumped more than 30 percent. Tony Lovette attributes that growth to more business from public schools and new con- struction projects, such as the Kennedy Center expansion. The company also is

are mostly designed to knock down the reverb.”

This is the second time

LuXout has worked on a Kennedy Center project. In 2010, the company cleaned and repaired the 65-foot- tall curtains in the center’s grand foyer. LuXout is part of The

Specialty Group Ltd., a mul- timillion-dollar Richmond- based company owned by

alleging that the company has cost taxpayers millions of dollars by blocking the orderly transfer of information services to new providers and failing to adequately upgrade the state’s IT network. The suit, filed in Richmond Circuit Court, represents a forceful answer to the civil suit Northrop Grumman filed against the state in the same court at the end of the previous month. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

This year, the University of Vir- ginia could reach a milestone: it’s on pace to receive more money from private donations than from the state. That’s highly unusual for a large state university. The university administration, under President Teresa A. Sullivan, sees it as a positive sign that its fundraising efforts — spurred on, in part, by declining state funding on a per-student basis — are working. At a board of visitors meeting in June, Melody

Tony and Deborah Lovette. Specialty Group also includes Specialty Drapery, which provides window covers. Specialty Group pur-

chased LuXout in 2009, a move that served as a lifeline to the curtain company when many of its projects came to a halt during the Great Reces- sion. LuXout mostly repairs and replaces curtains for auditoriums in public, K-12

Bianchetto, the university’s vice president for finance, reminded board members that the univer- sity is lucky enough to have a steady stream of philanthropic income — more than $150 million in operating money pro- jected over the next year. (The Daily Progress)

The Virginia Commonwealth University Health System has bought the Museum of the Confederacy building in Richmond from the American Civil War Museum (ACWM) for $6.25 million. ACWM was created in 2013 when the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center merged. In 2015, the merged entity announced plans for a $37 million building project at Historic Tredegar on the downtown riverfront, originally set for completion by this year. Terms of the sale call for the VCU Health System to lease the building back to the museum

expanding. It has 31 employ- ees and is looking to add six more. Specialty Group also recently created a division, LuXout Shades, which makes window shades for interior designers. LuXout Stage Curtains

also recently opened an office in Dallas in addition to its locations in Richmond and Orlando, Fla. “The oppor- tunity in [the Dallas] mar- ketplace dwarfs everything we’ve ever done,” says Tony Lovette.

for two years while new space for the consolidated museum is constructed. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Packaging maker WestRock Co. announced plans in June to buy assets for making corrugated containers. The company has agreed to buy substantially all of the assets of New York-based Island Container Corp. and an affiliate named Combined Con- tainer Industries LLC, which are independent producers of cor- rugated boxes, sheets and point- of-purchase displays. WestRock, which has its headquarters in downtown Richmond and an administrative office in Norcross, Ga., also is buying a corrugator — a machine that makes corru- gated boxes from paperboard — along with converting operations in Wheatley Heights, N.Y., and other assets including finishing equipment and warehouse space in Saddle Brook, N.J. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)


Richmond-based Common- wealth Commercial Partners LLC has promoted Alex C. Crouch to managing director of the North and South Carolina offices. Crouch joined Com- monwealth Commercial in 2007, serving most recently in a senior role in the Richmond office. (

Laura W. Fornash, Virginia’s secre- tary of education from 2011 to 2013, has joined McGuireWoods Consulting in

Richmond as a senior vice president and co-leader of its National Educa tion practice. More recently, she was execu- tive assistant to the president for state governmental relations at the University of Virginia. (News release)


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