By Mike Schmidt
If you ask new resident, Amanda Love, what makes Granville great, it’s something her family thought quite a lot about in choosing to move here. She and her husband, Brian Fuller, daughters Izzi and Esme, and their Havanese dog, Marshmallow, were looking for a change of pace: “Brian and I had lived in Chicago for 18 years and while we will always love it, we wanted a community that offered a different perspective and pace of life. In Granville we believe we’ve found both, and were pleasantly surprised by the depth and diversity of people, places and opportunities here.”
Amanda and Brian identified 10 places where they could imagine putting down roots. They then narrowed it down to three: Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, and Granville. Says Amanda, “We looked at each community’s schools, neighborhoods, culture, landscape, etc., and we ended up choosing quickly.” When asked what was the deciding factor, she paused and shared, “it came down to the concept of ‘different.’ Many other places, while wonderful in their own rights, represented that which we could have gotten in the suburbs of Chicago. There is a certain vibe in Granville that resonated with each of us.”
The “vibe” Amanda refers to has a lot to do with the benefits of a college town. “We centered our search on college towns due to their intellectual, cultural and diverse environments. Granville represents the full spectrum of economic diversity and has people of all ages that bring a vibrancy of community that is inviting. There are families, college students and grandparents that all interact and connect here. We loved the full spectrum of ages and backgrounds.”
One of the first things Amanda and her family did when they arrived was to visit the Granville Public Library. “We got our library cards right away, it’s an amazing place, and our girls remain frequent visitors.” They are also frequent visitors to Alfie’s, Kussmaul Gallery, and all the shops downtown.
Amanda admits that finding deeper cultural diversity than Chicago offers is a challenge, but has nevertheless found and made friends with families from all over the world that call Granville home. “Having done a fair amount of travel, we really appreciate the sincerity of our neighbors and see that they really care about the community and each other. Central Ohio is really unique in its connectivity and attitude.”
Amanda and Brian wanted the best education for their girls and closely investigated educational opportunities here. “After visiting the Granville schools and learning about the high caliber and quality of education it offered, the Granville schools were an easy choice. We have been very pleased with their teachers and administrators.” Izzi, who plays piano, and Esme, who plays classical guitar, have likewise plugged quickly into Granville’s many youth activities. Izzi is on the Pau Hana swim team and field hockey and Esme has started horseback riding. “That is something we could never have done in Chicago,” shared Amanda, adding “it’s yet another thing that we love, the freedom for the girls. With our house on Newark Granville Road, the girls can ride their bikes all over town. That is a huge change from living in a large city.”
As a healthcare consultant with The Advisory Board, Brian continues to travel but enjoys the area recreation and golf options. Amanda’s passion as a sculptor has introduced her to many of the artists living in the area. She is in the process of putting together her studio to continue her interdisciplinary work using a variety of mediums. “When I am not busy still unpacking boxes, I’m taking time to enjoy riding my bike, taking a yoga class and hiking. The outdoor backdrop here is incredible.”
“I could go on and on about all the great things that made us fall in love with Granville, but I keep coming back to the people. There is an incredible balance here and we really appreciate how easily we have been able to connect and plug into the community.”
The Granville Community Foundation is pleased to welcome Amanda, Brian, Izzi, Esme and Marshmallow and hope that you too have a chance to meet them soon.