August 2019

On August 10th, the City will host an Open House event for the new David E. Anderson Senior Center. This much-anticipated facility will become the new home for our over 1500 members. Please stop by to take a tour, become a member or learn about all of the programs offered. The Center will open for our members on Monday, August 12th. The ribbon cutting will take place on September 14th.

Union Village is a collaboration between the City of Willoughby, the Willoughby-Eastlake School District, and the Lake County YMCA. This will represent the largest construction project in Willoughby’s history, and one of the most unique collaborations in the State of Ohio. In 2014, Superintendent Steve Thompson and Lake County YMCA Executive Director Dick Bennett began a conversation about combining and sharing resources. Given Willoughby South High School and the West End Y are neighbors, these leaders believed a partnership would increase services of both institutions. Shortly after this, Mayor David Anderson suggested it would be an excellent opportunity to build our long-anticipated senior center. Before the 2015 school district bond issue, the City, School District, and YMCA conceived a joint-use facility now called Union Village. The name truly represents the philosophy behind this project: a union of three entities to provide better services while reducing operational costs. It is also a nod to the former Union High School located in Wes Point Park.

Union Village includes an expansion and renovation of Willoughby South High School, the relocation of Willoughby Middle School to the current high school and the demolition of the existing Willoughby Middle School. The YMCA is investing in a new state-of-the-art facility and will relocate from its current building at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Shankland. Finally, the City is constructing a new senior center and will relocate from the current building on Brown Avenue.

The real story, however, is the value these separate but connected projects bring to our community. For the City, we will have a single-story facility with flexible and expandable spaces for programming. We also gain better parking and a more functional layout. Our proximity to the YMCA will offer more programming opportunities, and the new South High School field house will provide a larger gym as well as a walking track. We are also looking forward to a renewed relationship with our neighbors, Breckenridge Village, and their new Executive Director Dean Palombaro. The new YMCA facility will offer more program opportunities with an emphasis on family programming. Their building includes a warm water therapy pool, and the Y will manage the 8-lane competitive pool constructed by the school district. The pools are adjacent to each other, and they serve as an outstanding example of how the YMCA’s expertise in pool management can provide a direct benefit to the schools. The expanded Willoughby South High School/Middle School will offer more opportunities for student-centered learning and an opportunity for cross-generational learning experiences with its proximity to the Senior Center.

We look forward to seeing the community at Union Village soon!