A vacant lot on Chandler Court will be the site of a new child care center in Genoa Township.
BrightPath Active Learning, LLC will construct a child care center on just over one acre at 5940 Chandler Court, Westerville. The business currently rents the lower level of the American Baptist Church, 401 East Schrock Road, Westerville.
The new 5,600-square-foot building will include six classrooms and have nine employees, with weekday hours from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“These classrooms will support our preschool, kindergarten enrichment, and after-school programming,” the development plan states. “We will offer preschool programs for children age 3 — Pre-K. We will also offer kindergarten enrichment with half-day or all-day schedules to complement the part-time kindergarten programs in the local school districts (Westerville, Worthington, Olentangy and Big Walnut). After-school program programming will be open to children ages K-5.
The plan was originally presented in 2018, with rezoning from Planned Industrial and Warehouse District to Planned Community Facilities District approved Aug. 26.
At a 50-minute meeting Oct. 15, the Genoa Township Zoning Commission unanimously approved the final development plan by a 4-0 vote. Development and Zoning Director Joe Shafer’s report recommended approval. It was described as “an arduous journey” by President Mark Antonetz.
“You know about our desire to move to Genoa Township,” said owner/founder Erica Wares during the Genoa Township Board of Trustees meeting Dec. 2 to approve the final development plan. She said they planned to continue to have their Schrock Road location, and could leave their buses and vehicles parked there if necessary to prevent overflow.
Genoa resident Dan Sampson said he has known Wares for 10 years and lives near Chandler Court. “They’d be a great addition to the neighborhood,” he said.
Trustee Connie Goodman asked if BrightPath’s services would be offered as a priority to Genoa residents. Wares said she would market to the township, but there would be no exclusions.
“Our location near residences in Highland Lakes (subdivision) and the bike paths, makes a perfect place for a child care, education-focused business,” the plan text summary states.
Trustee Frank Dantonio asked how the center would “enhance the charm” of Genoa. He was told the building design would fit in with the rural and industrial look of other businesses on Chandler Court. “I think it’s going to stick out,” Dantonio said.
Other neighbors in the Chandler corporate park include Feazel roofing, Fore Food, Giammarco’s Italian restaurant, Raw War Crossfit, and Turning Point Fitness. Also nearby is Northlawn Memorial Gardens.
“Our plan for Chandler Court will promote a healthy, socially-conscious, and family-oriented use for this parcel,” the plan text states.
Trustee Karl Gebhardt motioned to approve the final development plan, noting it was consistent as a business use for the area. “Welcome to Genoa Township,” Gebhardt said to Wares after the board voted unanimously 3-0 to approve the final development plan.
In other news, Shafer was named Public Servant of the Year by the Genoa Township Business Association, according to a Dec. 11 post on Genoa’s Facebook page.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.