As the leaves begin to fall and the seasons change, Whitehall is experiencing its own transformation.
Among the most notable of changes affecting our city's landscape is the Norton Crossing development taking shape at the intersection of Hamilton Road and Broad Street.
As the largest redevelopment in the city's history, it will offer office and retail space, restaurants, a public park, upscale housing for young professionals and empty nesters, and so much more for our community.
Norton Crossing brings to life our mission to strengthen our community by providing communal spaces and new experiences that focus on bringing people together.
There also is a renaissance happening through our parks and recreation department, which has been working to improve resident amenities for some time.
New and inclusive playground equipment was added in all five of the city's parks last year, with Whitehall Community Park seeing more than $1.5 million of improvements.
Residents and neighbors see these improvements in the extended trails for visitors to enjoy, a remeadowed lower level, new shelter houses available for rent and the upcoming grand opening of our much anticipated Whitehall Community Park YMCA. In addition to the city's more than $5 million investment in renovating the park's former activity building to complement the Whitehall Community Park YMCA, the YMCA of Central Ohio has taken stake in the well-being of our residents by building an addition of about 9,000 square feet to the already 25,000-square-foot building.
This facility in the heart of our most prestigious park will be one of a kind in central Ohio. The Whitehall Community Park YMCA not only will offer the standard educational and physical-education programming, but also performing-arts and music programming, youth-centric activities, a fitness center, turf fields and a variety of sports. Our residents, young and young at heart, will have access to a number of wonderful programs to exercise their muscles and minds.
I am so excited to become a member; I have already signed up at the mobile membership trailer on the construction site, 402 N. Hamilton Road.
In the future of Whitehall, residents and visitors not only will be able to take advantage of the programming offered at the public park in Norton Crossing, but they will be within walking or biking distance of a state-of-the-art YMCA.
These developments are a model for what we hope to follow in the rest of the community.
I have lived in Whitehall for 38 years, and I have loved each and every stage of its growth. Never have I been more excited or felt more inspired by this community.
The overwhelming success of Whitehall is thanks to incredible businesses that sought opportunity, residents who make houses into homes and community leaders who continue to invest in this city's potential.
It is an honor to stand at the helm of such an incredible community, and I look forward to what the future holds for the city of Whitehall.
Kim Maggard is mayor of Whitehall.