BEAVERCREEK — The City of Beavercreek is growing — but local leaders say the most development is yet to come.
One way the city proves its progress over the last two years is in its expansive list of capital road construction projects.
In 2015 and 2016, the city had plans for six construction projects, including widening Grange Hall Road and North Fairfield Road, enhancing the streetscape of Dayton-Xenia Road at Grange Hall Road intersection, reconstructing existing traffic signals, completing Park Overlook Drive, and working on the turn lanes, sidewalk and traffic signal at Grange Hall Road at Shakertown Road.
One year ago, in the March election, Beavercreek voters approved a levy renewal and increase to maintain road maintenance and services for signs, traffic signals, resurfacing, and weather-related needs.
Five more projects are in the works for 2017 and 2018, including widening Dayton-Xenia Road, Indian Ripple Road and National Road, as well as a Grange Hall Road bikeway project and lighting and landscaping enhancements set for Dayton-Xenia Road.
“[These are] positive improvements,” Beavercreek City Manager Pete Landrum said. “The city is following through with what the residents were promised in the street and park levies that were passed.”
Landrum says that the growth of the city will continue with more capital road projects and park projects, referring to projects that span from the current year to 2020. Projects to begin in 2020 include the widening of Dayton-Xenia Road and Kemp Road and the relocation and extension of Shakertown Road to Factory Road.
Although Landrum, a brand new resident of Beavercreek, is only three months into his job, he’s been busy, particularly in establishing relationships with community members.
“My first few months have been great, [I’m] learning and meeting many residents, people, groups and organizations,” he said.
Another new Beavercreek resident is getting to know the community, too.
“It’s been great. I have enjoyed getting to know the community, meeting the staff. We have an outstanding staff in the district,” Beavercreek City Schools Superintendent Paul Otten said.
Otten said that the growth of the city is one of the biggest things on his radar.
The road projects don’t directly affect the schools financially, he said, but they do impact transportation and might change the bus routes to school.
“Hopefully it’ll help us in the long run,” he added.
Looking ahead to other areas of growth, the new superintendent reffered to the development of Fairfield and the number of subdivisions and houses popping up around the city.
“It is evident the community is poised to start growing. It’s already growing, but, [I expect] it to grow leaps and bounds in the near future,” he said.
“The concern is,” he continued, “we want to make sure we are offering what our students and our community need. We are preparing for the future.”
One way the schools are preparing for the future is by offering a strategic planning program with the community. The program will begin next school year, allowing school leaders to reach out to the district to focus on academics, facilities, and other areas of importance.
Otten said he’s focusing not just on planning for the future, but on always being responsive.
“We have to be responsive to what next year brings,” he said, noting that the six elementaries in the district are pretty crowded right now. “Growth is always a challenge — how you handle it and respond to it.”
When student numbers rise, staff has to grow, too.
“It’s a service-oriented job. You do that through people,” he said.
Otten spoke of his students and their families, many of which, he said, are military or involved with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB).
“Wright-Patt is a major player in the school district,” he said, explaining also that the school receives federal funds for students of military families.
While some families are stationed in the area for a short amount of time, Otten said he has watched the teaching and support staff welcome the students in and support them through their time there.
“We are very blessed to have Wright-Patt in our backyard. It’s a great setting for families … It is critically important to our success.”
The city manager, too, expressed the importance of the nearby base.
“Beavercreek has a great relationship with WPAFB, as well as all surrounding cities. WPAFP is very important to Beavercreek and the region and we pay specific attention to things that could impact WPAFB,” he said.
Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.
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