Last Thursday, August 9th at the Grand Marquise Ballroom in Garner was the third annual Garner “Plug in the Future” CONNECT Conference, a joint project of the Town of Garner and the Garner Chamber of Commerce. CONNECT is a half-day conference that gives residents, town leaders and businessmen and women an opportunity to network together while listening to presentations and panel discussions on important topics concerning the town’s economic climate and way of life.
This year’s conference concentrated on the upcoming multimillion dollar projects such as the new WakeMed Health Complex and the planned improvements to the busy interchange that is I-40 and US Business 70 as well as the new Strategic Behavioral Health Center opening, and culminated in a special award for Garner High Principal Drew Cook.
The meeting was very informative. Just seeing how the road traffic was going to flow after the work being done on 70 and 40 was very enlightening. You can see how this is really going to open up opportunities for more retail business, restaurants, etc.
With the plans for a new WakeMed HealthPlex in Garner that will serve as WakeMed’s base for its medical helicopter operations not far from the I-40/Business 70 interchange, the town has committed $6.5 million to the road improvement project. Residents and businesses in attendance at CONNECT learned in detail of the importance of the project during a panel discussion. Construction for the WakeMed HealthPlex begins in September while construction is nearly completed for the Strategic Behavioral Health Center on the opposite side of the interchange in the Greenfield Business Park just off of BUS 70 heading toward Clayton. Yet another reason for the road improvement project. WRAL TV reported on the announcement of the behavioral center right after the I-540 Red Route proposal was extinguished:
Carol goes on to say -
“I believe having a hospital facility in our area will also trigger growth. As a REALTOR® I have seen first hand how Garner is attracting new people from other states because of our incredible location. To be just 10 minutes to downtown Raleigh is almost unbelievable.”
The highlight of the CONNECT conference was the recognition of Garner Magnet High School and its Principal Drew Cook as one of US News and World Report’s Bronze Medal recipients for top-performing high schools in North Carolina AND the nation. Wake County Public School Superintendent Tony Tata made the presentation.
“To top off the conference with Drew Cook being awarded a medal for all of Garner Senior High’s accolades was the icing on the cake. Garner Magnet High School should really be proud of all the strides that they have made. The thing I liked most about Drew’s speech was that he recognized there was more work to be done and he said he was up for the challenge to make that happen.” ~ Carol Sims
GMHS Principal Drew Cook receives his award from WCPS Superintendent Tony Tata.
Once again, the Garner CONNECT conference didn’t disappoint. Residents and business owners walked away with a plethora of information about upcoming projects, but mostly, a sense of pride for Garner that goes beyond Scotty McCreery and (newly crowned as of June ’12), Miss North Carolina 2012 Arlie Honeycutt, though our residents don’t shy away from that either…and neither do we!
There’s a saying in the Town of Garner – “Garner is a GREAT place to be!”. We at Fonville Morisey Vandora think so too and we’re proud to represent and serve our community!
To read more about this year’s CONNECT conference, visit the recap by the Garner-Cleveland Record via the Garner Chamber of Commerce.
Images and conference notes courtesy of Jean Stevens. Thanks, Jean!