Everyone from attorneys and builders to educators and elected officials stayed busy in southern Delaware County this year.

Here's a look back at some of the top stories from 2017 in the Olentangy Valley area.

Bear necessities -- The Olentangy Local School District's preparations for the opening of Berlin High School kicked into overdrive in 2017.

Last summer, the district announced the school's nickname would be the Bears and its colors would be blue and light blue. Olentangy unveiled logos for the school earlier this winter.

District officials expect construction of the district's fourth high school, off Berlin Station Road in Berlin Township, to wrap up in time for the start of the 2018-19 school year.

That settles it -- The city of Powell approved a $1.8 million settlement with CV Real Property in September to end a years-long legal fight.

The developer sued the city in 2014 after residents voted to approve a charter amendment that blocked the development of an apartment complex planned by the firm near the city's municipal building.

Although the deal had its critics, city residents did not punish Powell City Council at the ballot box in November. The three incumbents who ran for re-election, all of whom voted for the settlement, earned new terms.

Up on the farm -- After years of planning, the developers of the massive Evans Farm neighborhood in Berlin and Orange townships won approval for the plat of the first phase of the project in the fall. The approval allowed prospective residents to begin closing on lots in the development, which eventually will grow to 2,200 new houses on the 1,250-acre site north of Lewis Center Road.

The site's developers expect workers to complete the first businesses and houses slated for the mixed-use neighborhood in 2018.

Fond farewells ... -- Olentangy High School Principal Tom McDonnell left the district at the end of the 2016-17 school year to become the Dublin City School District's director of student operations. Orange High School Principal Kathy McFarland announced earlier this month she plans to resign Jan. 1 to become the Ohio School Boards Association's deputy executive director. [Related story]

... and warm welcomes -- Olentangy hired Robert Griffiths, a former assistant principal at Liberty High School, to lead Olentangy High School in May, and the district in April named Todd Spinner, the former principal of Westerville Central High School, as the first principal of Berlin High School. [Related story]