Beau Dusz
Ohio.com correspondent


It was an eventful year in Wadsworth: a series of events and changes took place in 2013, which will impact the city for many years.



A new community center was officially opened, the school system and public library got new leadership, the building at 138 High was sold and preludes to the beginning of the city's bicentennial celebrations were held.



Community center dedication



A 70,000-square foot community center on School Drive was dedicated in February. The building includes the Soprema Senior Center and Cafe, a home for Wadsworth Community Television, a satellite site for Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital and a site for some functions of the Wadsworth Public Library.



The building is attached to a new high school which was opened in 2012. The community center and school share some of the facilities including the pools and gymnasiums.



The community center replaces Steiner Youth Center which had been the city's main recreation site for more than 40 years.



New superintendent for school district



Andrew Hill became Wadsworth Local Schools Superintendent on July 1 with the resignation of Dale Fortner, who had served in that position for 10 years.



After six months as superintendent, Hill said: "I love my new position. The Wadsworth community has been welcoming to me and my family. I have found being a Grizzly has lived up to the expectations I had while being on the outside looking in."



The school district includes five elementary buildings and a high school. Three of the elementary buildings, Overlook, Isham and Valley View and Wadsworth High School were opened in 2012.



In addition, voters in November elected three new members to the five-member Board of Education. Mark Casalinova, Julie Batey and Amanda Gordon will replace long-time board members Jim McIlvaine, Charles Pfeister and Lisa Jones.



New library leadership



Daniel Slife took over the directorship of the Wadsworth Public Library in August. Slife succeeds C. Allen Nichols who became Executive Director of the Akron Bar Association.



Slife, previously director of the Huron Public Library, as director, will be in charge of planning, budgeting, personnel, public relations, facilities, maintenance, collection development and evaluation of library services.



Landmark building sold



A building at 138 High Street, which has stood in the downtown for more than 70 years, has been sold by the city. It is expected to be torn down to make room for a parking lot and a drive-thru for the building immediately to the south.



The building became vacant earlier this year when the Wadsworth Center for Adults, which had been at that site for more than four decades, moved to new quarters in the city's community center at 617 School Drive.



The building has also served as a home for the Masons and a city recreation center.



Bicentennial preparation

A series of events serving as precursor to the celebration of the city's bicentennial next year were carried out in 2013.



Even though the bicentennial will not begin officially until next year, the bicentennial committee had a contingent in the Blue Tip Festival parade in June to call attention to the upcoming bicentennial celebrations, a march to the football stadium to emulate a like march to be part of the bicentennial celebration and the performance of zombies at the Scare on the Square, which served as a preliminary to a larger zombie celebration expected next year as part of the celebrations.



Events planned for 2014 include a First Night, six historic teas, community picnic, homecoming/tailgate party, "Thriller" flash mob, a ball and a downtown Christmas Carol Sing Along.



More information on the bicentennial and memorabilia for sale can be obtained at Wadsworth200.com.