WADSWORTH: A ceremony to dedicate the new Community Center was held Monday.
Wadsworth’s Human Resources Director Jim Kovacs hosted the dedication, which was held in the YMCA section of the new 70,000 square-foot building. Officials from the various entities that collaborated to make the center a reality also were in attendance.
The project included a new high school and three new elementary school buildings, which opened in September, and the Community Center which houses the Soprema Senior Center and Cafe, Summa Health Center, Wadsworth Community Television, Wadsworth Library and the YMCA fitness center.
Kovacs said the idea for the Center began six years ago, and after a community survey was completed with more than 2,500 responses, an issue was placed on the ballot in 2008. At that election, according to Kovacs, the "citizens spoke" by approving the issue.
Doug Cole, Akron YMCA Director, emphasized the place is about kids and a "safe harbor for all in the community."
Congressman Jim Renacci, who was the city’s mayor when the idea began to percolate and now the representative for the 16th district to the U.S. House of Representatives, sent his regrets because he had to be in Washington to vote on various issues, but did send two representatives to the ceremony.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dale Fortner termed it "a wonderful night" and a "success" and noted he was "delighted in the end result."
Fortner explained the project was the first of its kind with "shared costs, shared personnel and shared facilities." He declared it a "phenomenal bargain" and "a testimony to our community's investment in the future."
He added the finish product was, "mission accomplished."
C. Allen Nichols, Wadsworth Library Director, emphasized the community had a need for all these services and declared, "Wadsworth has a history of paying it forward."
The library will occupy a 400 square-foot area with computer workstations and a place for residents to pickup and return library items.
Tom Debord of Summa declared the main goal of the Summa Health Center of Wadsworth, is to "provide the highest quality and compassionate care." He noted the services to be offered by Summa at this location will be sports medicine, therapy and radiology.
Laura Culp of the YMCA stated the vision "is to help children and families."
Wadsworth Mayor Robin Laubaugh exclaimed the Center "will bless the lives of those who come."
Plans are underway to add an outdoor Aquatic Center as part of the facility. The Aquatic Center is planned for three pools and slides.
Donors to the capital campaign for the Center include Hillier Family Foundation, Dominion Foundation, the Medina County Fund, Bob and Kim Thurber, Remington Products, Seibert Keck Insurance, Families of the 2011 Wadsworth City Schools Administration, C. Allen and Mary Anne Nichols, Ed Harrison Family, Ken and Lois Miller Fund/Wayne County Community Foundation, Summa Wadsworth Rittman Hospital, Robert and Phyllis Leatherman Family, the K Company,Inc., Bryan and Robin Laubaugh, Soprema, Wadsworth City Schools the Whitlam Family and Families of the 2012 Wadsworth City Schools Administration.