Bexley's 2019 State of the Community Address offered overviews of the Bexley City School District's strategic plan, Capital University's outreach to the community, new programs at the Bexley Public Library, the Bexley Community Foundation's fundraising efforts for the planned Jeffrey Mansion expansion, and a new event hosted by the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce.

Leaders from each organization reviewed 2018 accomplishments and previewed new developments during the event March 6 at the Cassingham Theatre.

Bexley City Schools Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller said the district's strategic plan, which the school board adopted last summer, will guide the district's decisions regarding curriculum, hiring and facilities for the next three years.

"We are working to make sure that our budget, our financial resources are tied very directly to the district goals that we have set for it," she said.

The district will develop comprehensive technology and facilities plans to accommodate enrollment projections, Miller said.

"We have grown by about 10 percent over the last five years, and are projected to continue to grow over the next five to 10 years," she said. "Student growth, enrollment growth is something we must consider, and also operational efficiency."

Capital University President Elizabeth Paul said the institution will soon expand its academic offerings with several new majors, including master's degrees in legal studies and social work. The university is also hosting a community screening of a documentary, "Capital in the Sixties," that chronicles the institution's history. The screening is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St.

"It is a documentary that was produced by a set of students in two courses, working with a media and film professor and also a history professor, drawing on documentary film skills, but also our archives," Paul said. "It is Capital in the Bexley community."

Among the Bexley Public Library's initiatives is a new author series, said Ben Heckman, director.

"Thanks to the tremendous support of the Bexley Community Author Series, we're going to offer in the fall a counterpart geared toward family and youth," he said. "We'll be having a (young-adult) author come or a children's author come in the fall as part of this series."

As Bexley moves forward with a planned expansion of Jeffrey Mansion, 165 N. Parkview Ave., that is scheduled to get underway next year, the Bexley Community Foundation has already reached its $1.5 million fundraising goal for the project and will continue to raise funds, said Jeff Walker, chairman of the foundation's board of directors.

The foundation will hold a public event from 3 to 5 p.m. April 10 at its headquarters, 552 S. Drexel Ave., to celebrate the campaign's success, he said.

"We wanted to make sure everybody in the community feels involved in this," Walker said, "so we're having an additional fundraising phase before we complete the wrap-up."

The Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce will host a new event to showcase the city's business community, "Everyone Starts Somewhere," on May 2, said Elaine Pelz, the chamber's executive director.

"That event is geared toward educating and promoting the entrepreneurs in community," Pelz said. "The event will include a panel of successful entrepreneurs followed by an expo of many of community entrepreneurs, freelancers and consultants who don't have a brick-and-mortar presence."

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