COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION -- Plans for the expansion of Westerville's community center have been in the works for years, but the city took major steps in 2017 toward making the expansion a reality. A design process for the expansion -- which will house a third gymnasium, an "adventure-fitness" area, water slides and the Westerville Senior Center -- is underway. The city earmarked $20 million in bonds for the project in the 2018 budget, with completion expected in late 2019.
COUNCIL CHANGES -- Two of Westerville City Council's seven members will be new in 2018 after two newcomers defeated incumbents in November. Voters chose Valerie Cumming and Alex Heckman to join incumbents Kathy Cocuzzi and Michael Heyeck, who were re-elected.
STREET PROJECTS -- As crews finished work on the long-running construction at State Street and Schrock Road in the spring, the city's attention turned to the intersection of Schrock and Cleveland Avenue. Crews are adding two lanes to Cleveland and a new turn lane on Schrock to ease traffic congestion. In Uptown, a debate over proposed streetscape changes to State Street in the Uptown district has begun for work that won't start until 2019.
TREASURER DEPARTS -- Bart Griffith, treasurer for the Westerville City School District, announced he would leave on disability retirement effective Jan. 1, 2018. Griffith, who served the district for six years, said he had been dealing with health issues.
8 STATE DRAMA -- The long-awaited 8 State Bistro at 8 N. State St. closed suddenly in May after the restaurant stopped paying its utility bills. But months later, local barbecue franchise Barrel & Boar announced it was the new tenant of the site and plans to open in early 2018.