While significant changes in Whitehall's landscape are imminent, the groundwork for those changes was laid in 2017.

Here's a look back at five of 2017's top stories that are likely to reverberate in 2018.

It's fun to stay at the YMCA -- City officials announced in October the future opening of a YMCA of Central Ohio branch at Whitehall Community Park, 402 N. Hamilton Road.

The Community Park YMCA is not expected to open until mid-2019, after about $5.5 million worth of infrastructure improvements at the site.

And the walls come tumblin' down -- Demolition began in December at the 42-building, 270-unit apartment complex once known as the Commons at Royal Landing, near East Broad Street and South Hamilton Road.

The start of demolition signified an important first step toward the construction of Norton Crossing, a mixed-use development in which Continental Real Estate is expected to invest upwards of $50 million to build.

Water, water everywhere -- Eager children lined up July 5 at John Bishop Park to be the first to enjoy the city's new splash pad.

Construction of the 3,500-square-foot, $1.2 million splash pad began in late 2016; it was expected to open Memorial Day, but children had to wait a little bit longer.

I fought the law (and the law won) -- Whitehall police launched four retail-theft blitzes between March and December at four different retail sites, slapping cuffs on 55 people.

Most were arrested for shoplifting -- the target of the blitzes -- but ancillary crimes such as drug possession also were uncovered.

The blitzes created an uptick in the number of arrests for thefts, but arrests for robberies and burglaries decreased in 2017.

And through Dec. 22, no homicides had occurred in Whitehall in 2017 -- even as Columbus, surrounding Whitehall on all sides, had seen more than 130 homicides that threatened to eclipse the city's record number of 139 in 1991.

Farewell to Armes -- Whitehall City Schools said goodbye to a dedicated public servant of six decades when Walter Armes opted not to seek re-election to the school board.

Except for a two-year hiatus, Armes had served on the board since 1991.