Looking ahead: Area leaders discuss what 2023 will bring for the Zionsville community

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According to Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron, community development is the theme for 2023. From the Big-4 Rail Trail project to new businesses coming to Main Street and continued growth projected for area schools, Zionsville has a variety of projects coming about in the new year.

Styron said the Big-4 Rail Trail widening and Zionsville Road trailhead project are among many developments residents can expect to see underway.

“We’re looking forward to offering people an even more enhanced experience through this trail widening project, and we are excited that there will be a Zionsville Road trailhead, which will feature a public restroom and parking, something that folks have desired on the Rail Trail,” Styron said.

Styron said the Oak Street and Boone County Route 800 East multi-lane roundabout will be constructed in the summer of 2023. Additionally, the Zionsville Dept. of Public Works plans to make headway on the extension of the sewer system to bring sewer service to 350 homes.

According to Styron, the DPW is also facilitating the construction and engineering of pathways and crosswalks that focus on safety and connectivity throughout the town, especially for the schools.

Per public safety, Styron said the town has an agreement to increase the safety provided by the Zionsville Police Dept. by adding more resource officers to area schools. Thanks to a $1.6 million grant, Styron said the town will also be able to hire six new firefighters to the Zionsville Fire Dept. in the new year.

The town seeks to purchase the Carpenter Nature Preserve in 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Town of Zionsville)

Furthermore, Styron noted the town’s commitment to enhancing and protecting the town’s natural resources by way of a five-year master plan for the parks and their dedication to Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Program. The town is set to purchase the Carpenter Nature Preserve in 2023 and wants to turn it into a public space by 2024.

“We keep our mind on how we can continue to protect our community that has, for decades, been a beautiful space,” Styron said. “We’re going to have (Carpenter Nature Preserve) to the north of us, making us truly a town within a park.”

Scott Robison, superintendent of Zionsville Community Schools, expressed confidence about the future of the district going into 2023.

Robison, who will retire at the end of January, expressed optimism for the future of the district in the hands of his successor, Rebecca Coffman.

“Dr. Coffman is the right leader to take ZCS to the next level,” Robison said. “Becky has helped assemble the outstanding campus and central office leadership team, and she understands well that fostering all employees to lead wherever they are is imperative to achieving the best outcomes for every student ZCS serves.”

Additionally, Robison is optimistic about the Zionsville Community High School remodeling and additions that will come to fruition at various points in 2023 to accommodate the growing student population.

In 2023, 8.000 ZCS students will be afforded opportunities for instructional and extra-curricular activities, academic competitions, internships, shadowing opportunities, travel study experiences, camps, plays, athletics and more, Robison said.

Overall, Robison looks forward to the coming months at ZCS because of the mission-oriented professionals in the district.

“ZCS is an exciting success story to watch in 2023 and beyond,” Robison said. “We have built a continuous improvement machine made up of outstanding people like Dr. Coffman and the entire ZCS team that she will lead well through innovation and collaboration.”

In the Zionsville Lions Club, improvements to Lions Park and multiple events will characterize the new year. Gail Robbins, club chair of the Lions Club, said the organization is also happy to have two puppy raisers in Zionsville and hope to involve more people in the effort to raise puppies for the blind and visually impaired.

A rendering shows plans for the Whitestown location of the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library. (Photo courtesy of Hussey-Mayfield)

Virginia Hilbert, marketing director for the Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library, said the library anticipates the grand opening of its Whitestown Branch, voting for Seed Library Flower of the Year and new MakerStudio Clubs.

The staff of the Community Foundation of Boone County, from left to right, Ali Maxey, Julie Reagan, Mary Hatton, Jodi Gietl and Crystal Dimiceli.

Jodi Gietl, president and CEO of the Boone County Community Foundation, expressed enthusiasm for new developments for Boone County nonprofits in 2023, including rolling grants that will allow for organizations to apply for grants all year long instead of by a cycle deadline.

Additionally, CFBC’s matching grants for next year will focus on organizations working with mental health, the elderly and literacy. The CFBC will also focus more on promotion of their app, Connect Boone County, which connects volunteers with area nonprofits.

According to Allyson Gutwein of the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, the town can look forward to new businesses coming to the town’s Main Street and the celebration of Hoosier Chocolate Fest at The Sixpence in Whitestown Jan. 27 and 28, as well as the Brick Street Market the weekend before Mother’s Day.

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