When it’s completed this spring, this Hokie stone facade bridge over Va. 114 will be a significant improvement to the Huckleberry Trail that links Christiansburg with downtown Blacksburg.
are busy, very busy,” explains Abdul Sharaki, who opened the upscale Summit restaurant in 2003 in an 1888 Victorian mansion that had served as the town’s recreation department. These days, he also gets business from the swim meets that take place at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, an Olympic-level facility that opened in 2010 and is home to the Virginia Tech swim and diving teams. The 62,000-square-foot center cost nearly $15 million and was a joint project with Tech. It has three pools, a 50-meter Olympicstyle pool, a family leisure pool and a therapy pool. It hosts around 18 meets a year, each drawing 600 or more participants. The center doesn’t pay for itself, but it provides jobs for 238 people and brings income to the businesses in the area, explains Mayor Mike Barber. A Virginia Tech study credits the facility with contributing $14.9 million to the area last year. Hotels and restaurants also get a boost from the Harkrader Sports Complex, open since 2006 behind Christiansburg Middle School. The complex hosts Photos by Alisa Moody
youth baseball world series that draw 25 to 45 teams, Barber says. Barber, a retired banker, grew up in Christiansburg and was on town council for 13 years before becoming mayor three years ago. He says that, while the county has
its courthouse in downtown Christiansburg and helps support the town’s fire and rescue services that answer calls in the county, the town is an independent taxing authority with enough reserves to pay cash for land for another recreational Meghan Dorsett’s historic Cambria Depot and its tenants depend on locals and out-oftown visitors drawn by Virginia Tech and the Christiansburg Aquatic Center.