Someone once said you could live your whole life and never leave the Southwest Ward. Born in a hospital, go to school, work, shop, raise a family, enjoy your leisure time, and retire.
Council Member Dan Besse represents the Southwest Ward on the City Council.
The Southwest Ward is made up of old established neighborhoods like Ardmore...the proud middle class neighborhood that sprouted on the hills on the western edge of the city during the 1920's. It still shows the effects of being well-maintained with pride and hard work.
Country Club Road, with homes on deep lots and winding side streets, serves as the ward's northern boundary.
Fire Station 2, on Somerset Road, is one of the city's newest and largest fire stations and responds to fire and medical emergencies in this area.
The Southwest Ward also has options for those who prefer an apartment or condominium living. They range from new developments such as the Hillcrest Town Center, to the tall shade of Ardmore Terrace that has stood the test of time on Cloverdale Avenue.
Nearby is the Moore Alternative School, which recently moved into a new building. It's one of three elementary schools in the ward, along with the west campus of Forsyth Technical Community College. Forsyth Tech is also here, training workers for jobs in the 21st century.
When it comes to retailing, the Southwest Ward is tops. Here you can find Thruway Plaza, one of the first shopping centers to be built outside downtown, and still one of the finest. Thruway anchors one end of a bustling, a two-mile-long conglomeration of stores and restaurants along South Stratford Road. Hanes Mall anchors the other end. With five department stores and more than 170 other shops and restaurants, it's one of the largest malls in North Carolina. Still more stores and restaurants line Hanes Mall Boulevard as it curves around from Silas Creek Parkway to Interstate 40.
Further west, the Stratford Industrial Park is home to many corporations and small businesses.
But by far, health care is the biggest employer in the ward.
Hawthorne Road connects two giant medical centers. On the north end is Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, which is the regional tertiary care center and the teaching hospital for the Wake Forest University Medical School.
At the other end is Forsyth Medical Center. All the babies born in Forsyth County take their first breath here, in the Sara Lee Center for Women's Health.
Nearby is Medical Park Hospital, which specializes in elective surgeries, and the Hawthorne Surgical Center for outpatient surgery. The adjoining streets contain an amazing assortment of medical buildings housing doctors of all specialties, dentists, and medical suppliers.
Even more medical facilities can be found in the Stratford Executive Park, along with offices and other businesses.
Along Griffith Road is the Archie Elledge Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant handles 30 million gallons of wastewater a day. It was recently upgraded with a new headwork, control building and clarifying basins.
The ward has places of peace and quiet. Miller Park...on land donated to the city by businessman Clint Miller in 1941...offers picinic shelters, playgrounds, two ballfields and an amphitheater. Its very busy recreation center serves over thirty thousand people per year.
Hobby Park, off Clemmonsville Road, has several specialized attractions including two areas for radio controlled airplanes and a track for radio controlled cars.
And Hanestown Park serves the residents of Hanestown, a community originally built for the workers at the former Hanes Hosiery Plant. It's one of the city's smallest parks. Many of the houses in Hanestown now serve as offices and shops.
Tennis courts, ball fields, and a busy modern recreation center serving the area around Salem Woods, are available at Little Creek Park.
And in the summer, the young and young at heart flock to Bolton Pool and its water play area. The Bolton Park fitness trail, picnic shelter, and playground are in use year-round.
Homes, shopping school, recreation, restaurants, medical facilities....maybe youcould spend your whole life in the Southwest Ward.
A look at City Government - Southwest Ward [video]