WOOSTER — Western Reserve Group held a ceremonial groundbreaking Wednesday for its new headquarters — an 81,000-square-foot office building on Benden Drive.

CEO and President Kevin Day led board members in turning the ceremonial first shovelfuls of dirt. Construction already had started at the site.

The insurance company, a fixture in Wooster for more than a century, has been headquartered in a 50,000-square-foot building on Cleveland Road since 1956. That 3.5-acre property is being purchased by Wooster Community Hospital for $3 million.

The new building, which the city has valued at $25 million, is scheduled for completion on Oct. 1, 2020, according to Day.

“When completed, the new headquarters will allow all employees to be housed at a one-campus-style location with enough space to grow and service our agents and policyholders for years to come,” he said. “Also, it will confirm our long-term commitment to Wooster and the surrounding communities.”

Day also noted the board chose not to seek any abatements for the project “due to its negative impact on our local schools and community.”

The new building will include 49,020 square feet of office space, a 144-seat conference center and a 4,116-square-foot employee fitness center. Day said the facility will improve the employee experience, not only through the inclusion of the fitness center, but also with the additional space that can be used for workforce development and meetings. And some of that square footage will allow the company to host community events, he said.

 

Reporter Tami Mosser can be reached at 330-287-1655 or tmosser@the-daily-record.com.