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Meet Buddy Hilliard The Elf: Happy Holidays from the City of Hilliard!

Posted: December 19, 2023
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Happy Leap Day, Hilliard! Have you heard of the Leap Road Leapers?

February 29, 2024

Have you heard of the Leap Road Leapers?! 🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️

Once every four years, something strange happens on Leap Road in Hilliard. The extra day on the calendar has resulted in some bizarre behavior on Feb. 29. Watch for yourself!

Happy Leap Day, Hilliard! 😉

Choose Hilliard: RDP Foodservice

February 27, 2024

Quality pizza ingredients and hometown family values…it’s no wonder RDP Foodservice is experiencing great success!

This family-owned operation started as an Italian grocery store in the 1940s and has grown into one of the largest independent food distributors in the United States. Nowadays, RDP is a lot more than just pizza! In 2016, the company moved to Hilliard, just off I-270 on Parkway Court, and that growth has continued.

On this episode of Choose Hilliard, we’ll show you a behind-the-scenes look at RDP’s 110,000-square-foot facility, plus tell you how music plays a key role in their company philosophy, and discuss its plans for future expansion.

For more information about RDP, visit rdpfoodservice.com.

Hilliard celebrates ‘topping out’ of new recreation and wellness center

February 2, 2024

The City of Hilliard held a “topping-out” ceremony at the construction site of its new recreation and wellness center on Friday, Feb. 2, where the final beam was lifted into place.

The ceremony marks the completion of the structural work on The Well, which started in Spring 2023.

In the days leading up to the topping out event, members of City Council, the construction and design team, City staff, and board and commission members had the opportunity to sign the steel beam to leave their mark on The Well.

“This event represents a major milestone in the construction process and years of dreaming,” said City of Hilliard City Council President Cynthia Vermillion.  “The beam marks a piece of Hilliard history that will expand recreation opportunities in our community and have significant benefits to quality of life and economic development.”

 Ruscilli Construction Co., LLC and McCarthy Consulting are leading the construction project. The Well was designed by Barker Rinker Seacat and Prime AE Group.

“We are excited about the construction progress and appreciate the outstanding partnership between the City of Hilliard and our construction team,” said President of Ruscilli Construction Co., LLC Adam Drexel. “It’s a great feeling to be involved with a project that will transform a community.”

Once construction is finished in 2025, The Well will include an aquatic facility, indoor running track, gymnasium, fitness center with weight room, space for fitness classes and community events, and a medical, health and wellness center operated by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The development of the surrounding park campus will include 22 athletic fields.

The project is one of the largest capital investments in the City of Hilliard’s history. Read more about The Well on our website. The Well – Hilliard Recreation and Wellness Center – City of Hilliard (hilliardohio.gov)

Hilliard Celebrates Black History Month

January 31, 2024

Trips to a special park and museum exhibits are great ways to learn about the important role Black residents have played in Hilliard’s history.

Merchant Park celebrates the role of the Merchant family, whose members are believed to be the first known Black family to own land and settle in what is now Hilliard.

The park, at 5462 Center St. in Downtown Hilliard, was dedicated in October 2021 to honor the Merchant family legacy. The 1850 U.S. Census listed Yammer and Tabitha Merchant, with their seven children, as a Black family living in Norwich Township. They arrived from Virginia as part of a movement of previously freed slaves and settled in what is present-day Brookfield Village.

Evonne Merchant Grant is one of the descendants of the Merchant family living in Central Ohio. In 2008, she started researching her family history and was instrumental in the work done for the Merchant Park dedication.

Evonne Merchant Grant speaks to crowd at the Merchant Park dedication ceremony in Downtown Hilliard in October 2021.
Evonne Merchant Grant addresses the crowd at the Merchant Park dedication ceremony in Downtown Hilliard in October 2021.

“Knowing who you are and where you came from is a beautiful thing,” Merchant Grant said. “It’s so important to seek out your family history while you still can with the older generation, because so often it is lost.”

Merchant Grant worked alongside City Attorney Dawn Steele to piece together these key moments of Black history in Hilliard. Steele is also a docent at the Hilliard Historical Society and put together a Black history exhibit at the museum in Weaver Park.

“We did a lot of research on the Merchants in particular, but we also uncovered a story about Hilliard as a whole,” Steele said. “Hilliard opened its first integrated school in 1878, and they’ve remained that way ever since. I think that’s a great testament to our community, and the Merchants were a big part of that.”

The museum exhibit features displays and artifacts on Hilliard’s early Black history through the 19th and 20th century. There are also items and kid-friendly exhibits that depict an old-fashioned family reunion and the role of each family member in a village. Steele said the research was done in phases, starting with census data, newspapers, and other information found in the library at the Hilliard Historical Society.

“Our goal was to make the exhibits informative and interactive, to really spark conversations for people,” Steele said. “The Merchants have been great to work with and, thanks to the continued efforts of Evonne and others, we’re learning more all the time.”

Merchant Grant said she visits the serene Merchant Park in Downtown Hilliard several times a year and always comes away with a sense of gratitude.

“I’m just so grateful for all the City of Hilliard has done to honor our family,” she said. “We’ve learned so much about not only our ancestors but about ourselves. Just because we have different skin colors, that doesn’t matter, we’re all one big happy family as part of the human race.”

The Merchant family gathers for the City of Hilliard's Merchant Park dedication ceremony in October 2021.
The Merchant family gathers to celebrate the dedication of Hilliard’s Merchant Park in October 2021.

Hilliard City Lab: Past, Present, and Future

December 28, 2023

2023 was a year of significant progress and growth for Hilliard City Lab, the City’s innovative technology platform.

Here’s a few eye-popping numbers that City Lab companies have accomplished through the Hilliard Development Corporation’s Innovation Grant Program:

🔷 12 grants awarded to City Lab companies totaling $450,000

🔷 $74.4 million in private investment committed from Hilliard City Lab companies

🔷 391 new jobs created and 360 jobs retained

In this video, learn about the past, present, and future of Hilliard City Lab and how its mission benefits Hilliard residents and businesses. Learn more: https://hilliardohio.gov/city-lab/.

A Year of Progress: 2023 Hilliard Recreation & Wellness Campus Update

December 12, 2023

A year of progress on the Road to Recreation!

2023 was a pivotal year in the construction of the City of Hilliard’s new state-of-the-art recreation and wellness campus. 

Watch the video for an update on the four main elements: “The Well” facility, the Cosgray Road extension, the Athletic Complex, and the City’s Environmental Sustainability efforts. 

Construction will continue over the next 18-months, with a grand opening set for mid-2025. For more information, visit https://hilliardohio.gov/r2r/.

Choose Hilliard: River’s Edge Cutlery

November 14, 2023

A high-end knife and cutlery shop is making quite a name for itself here in Hilliard.

River’s Edge Cutlery (REC) is located just off I-270 on Lyman Drive, offering specialty knives for all industries – from everyday carry, to outdoor, tactical, grooming, and even kitchen knives. REC truly has something for everyone.

Brothers Mike and Brian Kent started the company 20 years ago and have grown into one of the most trusted and respected custom knife shops in the region. REC specializes in retail sales and also knife sharpening and manufacturing.

On this episode of Choose Hilliard, we’ll tour their impressive 29,000-square-foot facility and discuss how their business has thrived here in Hilliard.

Downtown Hilliard: Past, Present, and Future

October 25, 2023

The heart of our community: past, present, and future!

Downtown Hilliard is the vibrant home to first-class amenities and events, thriving local businesses and restaurants, and most importantly, thousands of residents and visitors who enjoy this area every year. 

Our Downtown is the perfect example of planned, thoughtful growth, with this vision coming to life over the past decade. 

Watch the video to learn more about the railroad route surrounding “Hilliard’s Station” and how Downtown Hilliard continues to pay homage to its rich railroad history. Plus, hear how Downtown’s growing business community is paving the way for future growth. This intentional growth will continue to add vibrancy that embraces our past and looks forward to our exciting future!

Leaf collection services to begin Oct. 16

October 5, 2023

Just in time for the fall season, the City of Hilliard’s curbside leaf collection will begin Monday, Oct. 16, and continue through mid-December.

Residents should rake leaves to the curb area (between the sidewalk and street) by 7 a.m. on the Monday of their scheduled pickup week. Crews will collect leaves placed at the curb during scheduled times by neighborhood zones. The quadrant map can be found on our website. https://hilliardohio.gov/leaf-collection/

When raking leaves for collection, please remember to:

Rake leaves to the curb in the green space between the back of the curb and sidewalk.

Do not place leaves in the street or pile them around fire hydrants, mailboxes, parked cars, signs, basketball hoops, drains or streetlights.

Avoid parking cars on cul-de-sacs so trucks can get to the leaves.

Do not mix brush or trash into leaf piles.

Keep children away from leaf piles that are ready for collection

Leaves may cause temporary discoloration to your grass. However, the grass will grow back rich and green in the spring. To prevent grass from discoloring, rake your leaves immediately before your scheduled pickup date.

After the leaf collection period ends, leaves are to be placed in biodegradable paper yard waste bags or in a trash bin designated for yard waste only. The bags or bins should weigh no more than 50 pounds each when filled, and will be collected as part of the normal curbside-composting program every Tuesday.

Choose Hilliard: STAR Dynamics

October 4, 2023

A global leader in stealthy radars and high-tech national defense is based right here in Hilliard.

On this episode of Choose Hilliard, we take a look at STAR Dynamics, a growing radar company that specializes in state-of-the-art systems and software. Since moving its facility to Hilliard in 2007, STAR now employs 40 people with a revenue approaching $20 million. In recent years, the company has landed significant contracts with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, and the demand for their product continues to increase.

Local businesses like STAR Dynamics are another example of why the City of Hilliard was recently named a Top7 Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum. Thank you for choosing Hilliard, STAR Dynamics! We’re proud to partner with you to inspire innovation and foster technology growth here in Central Ohio.

For more information, visit: https://www.stardynamics.com/.

Be Well Event Offers Parents Resources on Addiction, Mental Health

August 25, 2023

Community leaders are joining together this fall to offer a free event for parents interested in learning about spotting the signs of substance use addiction.

Be Well: Prevention, Awareness, & Recovery, will be held Sept. 20 at Hilliard Darby High School. The free event is open to adults only. The first 300 guests will receive a free meal.

The event will begin with dinner and a resource fair in the school’s cafeteria from 5 to 6 p.m. A simulated teenage bedroom, known as Can You See Me Now?, will be on display in the school’s stage area. Parents are invited to tour the interactive bedroom to learn to spot risky behavior.

A presentation to include panelists of local first responders, health and wellness experts, and school officials will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. in the performing arts center. Experts will discuss substance abuse (including vaping), mental health, recovery, and addiction prevention.

“Our hope is to educate parents,” said Norwich Township Administrator Jamie Fisher. “We feel like this event will not only support our mission of promoting a healthier way of living but provide resources to help individuals make better choices.”

“Research shows one of the best ways to reduce the chances of teens using drugs by 50 percent or more is having an adult or parent have conversations with them about alcohol and drug addiction,” said Dawn Steele, who serves as an attorney with the City of Hilliard Recovery Court.

Research also shows 50 percent of teenagers have misused a drug at least once.

“We want parents to know they should not wait,” said Hilliard Chief of Police Michael Woods. “Don’t wait to have a conversation with your teen, don’t wait to ask for help, and don’t wait before a small problem turns into an addiction.”

The program is funded by Norwich Township Opioid Settlement Funds. Other cooperating partners include the City of Hilliard Division of Police, Norwich Township Fire Department, Hilliard City Schools, and HART (Health, Awareness & Recovery Together).

No RSVP is required.

Choose Hilliard: Booming Growth and Investment Along I-270 Corridor

July 12, 2023

The I-270 corridor and Cemetery Road are Hilliard’s front door.

If you take a drive around the outerbelt, you’ll see just how fast this area is changing and how vital it is to the City of Hilliard’s future economic growth. The addition of research and development facilities, data centers, and a $100 million mixed-use development called Truepointe are changing the game in Hilliard, and it’s only the beginning!

This Monday, City Council approved legislation to move forward with plans for the Truepointe development that is expected to begin construction later this year on an area that will include five-story office buildings, high-end restaurants, a hotel, apartments, retail, and two parking garages.

In this Choose Hilliard episode, we’ll hear from Hilliard-based companies Equity and Advanced Drainage Systems on their future plans and how the City jumpstarted this growth through years of intentional planning and infrastructure improvements.

A boy diving into water
A boy blowing bubbles

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