MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WTVR) – It’s been more than a year since a series of fires destroyed the Clubhouse at the King’s Charter subdivision in Mechanicsville.
Thursday the community came together for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the re-opening of the clubhouse and pool.
“I felt like I got kicked in the stomach. I think most people felt that way,” said neighborhood association president Douglas Johnson.
Police arrested and charged 18-year-old Jacob Spiro with arson in connection with the clubhouse fire. Police believe the Atlee High School honors student acted alone when he set the fires last June. He is scheduled to go on trial later this month and faces up to 30 years behind bars if convicted.
“It was very scary going through all of this. It just made you, made us all feel very violated,” neighbor Heather Cahill said.
“It is a tragedy for him. His life is ruined. It is a tragedy for his family,” neighbor Cass English said. “It was tragedy for the neighborhood. It was just a tragedy all the way around.”
The fire caused more than $1 million in damage and it took workers more than a year to rebuild the clubhouse.
“It’s just nice overall to have everybody together again and have that feeling of a family like we’ve always had,” Cahill said about Thursday’s celebration.