Development, growth and change were key words for municipal and school news in Canal Winchester, Groveport and Madison Township in 2018. Here's a look at five of the top stories of the year:
* Finally finished: Groveport Madison Local Schools officials held an Aug. 29 open house and dedication to present its new, $60 million high school to the public, just in time for classes to start Sept. 4. As an added bonus, the class of 2018 became the first to hold graduation on the renamed Le'Veon Bell Field at Cruiser Stadium.
Cruiser pride on display: District celebrates opening new GMHS
Groveport Madison graduation returns to Cruiser Stadium
* Finally finished, part 2: After some wrangling among township trustees over costs and design dating back more than a year, Madison Township Fire Station 183 opened in 2018. The $3.8 million, 11,000-square-foot facility was funded by a 3.25-mill operating levy township voters approved in 2015.
Madison Township fire station: Costs rising, no start date scheduled
At last: Ground broken for MTFD Station 183 construction
Madison township: Design-build deal OK’d for Station 183
Madison Township opens third fire station
* Changing of the guard: Garilee Ogden was named superintendent of Groveport Madison schools, succeeduing Bruce Hoover, who resigned unexpectedly in February. James Grube replaced John Hurd as deputy superintendent. Jeff Fasone, battalion chief for the Madison Township Fire Department, succeeded longtime chief Robert Bates. And Gary York, who retired from the Groveport Police Department, became Madison Township's new police chief.
Hoover resigns as Groveport superintendent
Ogden named new Groveport Madison superintendent
Grube settling into role as deputy superintendent
Madison Township: trustees name second interim fire chief in a month
York named township’s police chief
* Park progress: Canal Winchester continues to refine its plans for McGill Park, a 90-acre site along Lithopolis Winchester Road it purchased in 2017. Initial development of the park is estimated to cost $2 million. Officials are hoping to get up to $500,000 in federal money and are pursuing partnerships with local businesses and individuals for sponsorships and naming rights.
Canal Winchester refining proposal for McGill Park
McGill Park: Work begins with eye on spring 2020 opening
Canal Winchester seeks federal funds for McGill Park
* Construction zone ahead: School district officials started planning a major project to add to and renovate Canal Winchester High School. The 48,000-square-foot project is expected to cost $27.1 million. The bulk of the finding -- $19.6 million -- is coming from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. The district is chipping in $7.5 million.
Board OKs construction projects at high school
Schools renovations: Board hires architect, construction firms