This year brought several significant developments in Upper Arlington.

This year brought several significant developments in Upper Arlington.

One of the most significant came more than halfway through the year: The "Wrecking Ball" on Aug. 20 brought together city officials, business leaders and residents to celebrate the beginning of a new era at the Kingsdale Shopping Center.

The groundbreaking ceremony in front of the former Union store on the Northwest Boulevard side of Kingsdale marked the start of Continental Real Estate Co.'s redevelopment of the 50-year-old retail center.

The centerpiece of the redevelopment will be a new Giant Eagle store that will relocate from its current 56,000 square-foot space on Tremont Road to a newly-built 110,168-square-foot space on Northwest Boulevard. The store is scheduled to open next summer and will be in Giant Eagle's Market District brand, which is geared toward aficionados of fine cuisine and wine.

"Kingsdale will not be the fashion center it was when it first opened. It's going to be a community center," Continental CEO Frank Kass told stakeholders gathered during the Wrecking Ball. "All the tenants here want to stay. Some have agreed to be relocated."

In addition to its $20-million purchase of Kingsdale, Continental plans to invest an additional $20- to $40-million in renovations.

Library funds down, circulation up

Despite the failure of a $25-million, .99-mill bond issue in May and a reduction in operating hours that went into effect in October, the Upper Arlington Public Library continues to experience circulation increases.

Library officials had planned to use levy-generated funds to address mechanical and energy-efficiency issues at the main and Lane Road branches and expand the main branch by 34,000 feet.

Due to a reduction in state funding, the library reduced operating hours by 27 hours a week -- 11 at the main branch and eight at the Lane Road and Miller Park branches.

Despite being open fewer hours, the library reached a record of 2-million items circulated on Nov. 25.

UAPL was also rated the No. 1 library in its budget category of $5-million to $9.9-million by Library Journal, a national trade publication. Based on Upper Arlington's population of 33,000, UAPL ranked first in library visits per capita (39.2), public Internet terminal uses (26.5) and program attendance (0.9).

City Launches Stay UA

In April, National Church Residences and the John Glenn Foundation provided $30,000 to launch Stay UA as a six-month pilot program. In the program's current form, a part-time service coordinator fields non-emergency calls received by the Upper Arlington Division of Fire and makes referrals to social service agencies that assist older adults with everything from preventing falls to home maintenance.

A council subcommittee convened in the fall to explore options for Stay UA's long-term viability. Beginning next year, the city of Upper Arlington will fund Stay UA through estate taxes and contract with a social service agency to coordinate the program.

Council, school board elections

On Nov. 3, residents elected Upper Arlington City Council candidates David DeCapua and Debbie Johnson and re-elected incumbents Frank Ciotola and Wade Steen.

Council president Don Leach chose not to seek re-election to focus on his law practice, while Linda Mauger will vacate her seat in January due to term limits.

Residents offered a vote of confidence to Upper Arlington Board of Education members Robert Arkin and Marjory Pizzuti to third terms in an uncontested race.

The community lost two beloved and well-known individuals in the latter part of the year.

Community mourns Spielman, Redick

Community activist Stefanie Spielman passed away on Nov. 19 at her Upper Arlington home after a recurrence of breast cancer. The mother of four children and wife of former Buckeye and NFL star Chris Spielman was a longtime community activist.

Spielman used her visibility to raise money and awareness or cancer research. She was also a founding member of the Upper Arlington Women's Club. In 2006, the Spielmans served as grand marshals of the Upper Arlington Civic Association's Fourth of July Parade.

The community suffered another loss on Dec. 1 when Corrine Bacon Redick passed away at the age of 99.

Redick was a member of First Community Church since 1937 and a golf member of Scioto Country Club for 42 years. She was involved in numerous church and community activities, including the Upper Arlington Friends of the Arts and the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging. In 1997, Redick received the Upper Arlington Rotary Club's "Service Above Self" Award.

She was recognized by Upper Arlington City Council for 25 years of service as one of the "Silver Twins" (along with her friend, the late Margaret Smith-Morrison) who never missed a council meeting.

At council's last meeting of the year on Dec. 14, Linda Mauger noted that because Redick was born on 10-10-10, "She considered herself a 'perfect 10,' as did the rest of us."