This time period in Northwest Franklin County history brought one of the greatest growth spurts ever. Home builders put up houses as quickly as they could to make room for the new residents of the area. Neighborhoods sprung up practically overnight as farmland and wetlands were quickly turned into yards, parks, and streets. By 2000, nearly 125 separate housing developments were counted in Hilliard alone.
Businesses that were relocating from downtown Columbus to the suburbs employed many of these new residents. Office buildings became larger to allow for more people. Large windows and flat rooflines are still a common feature in office buildings of the area.
Inside, elevators and escalators ensure that handicapped and elderly people can use the buildings safely.
Outside, large well-lit parking lots are a feature of most businesses since few people live close enough to walk to work.
This increase in people brought a need for more stores, gas stations, churches, fire departments, and other services such as the post office and the police department.
Schools could barely keep up with the large numbers of new students. New schools were built to make room for the new students. Between 1984 and 1999 Hilliard City Schools built five new elementary schools, two sixth grade buildings, two new middle schools, and two new high schools.
To keep costs down, the same floor plan was reused for many of the buildings. Brick is a commonly used material on schools because it lasts a long time and does not need to be painted regularly.
During the 1980s, and 1990s the way homes were built changed a lot. Long ago, homes were “stick built” which meant that workers cut and put together all the walls, roofs, and flooring at the building site. Now, entire walls are constructed in factories and delivered to the building site. The frame of a house can be put together in a single day.
Building materials became less expensive and more durable. Vinyl siding was an inexpensive way to cover a house. The material would last much longer than wood and would require no painting. Assembling the house was much quicker without materials such as bricks to slow the process.
Northwest Franklin County has continued its growth into the 21st century. While home building has slowed some due to the economy, the area is still a very popular place to live.
More Information & Primary Sources
Overview compiled by Bill Wheeler