by Kristin Casale
Stow -- Huntington Learning Center will formally open its doors to the community during a grand opening Feb. 8.
The event is set to take place from 5 to 7 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The business, which is located at 4176 Kent Road, opened Dec. 18. However, owner Mike Whalen said, he would like to welcome the community in an official manner.
"[Dec. 18] was kind of a soft opening just to get us up and running," he said. "We wanted to do a soft opening to get everyone trained and get all the bugs worked out."
Whalen said he is looking forward to the grand opening, so the community can become better acquainted with his business, which provides supplemental education and tutoring to students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
"We're pumped," he said. "I'm just wondering where we're going to park everyone."
The educational facility's staff -- one full-time director and eight part-time teachers -- will be present during the event to greet the Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce members and city and school officials Whalen invited.
"We want to really show off the place and give tours," he said, stating 80 to 100 people are expected to attend the opening.
The 24-year Stow resident owns the business with his wife, Mary Kay, stating the couple decided to open the establishment in Stow because of their love for the city.
"One of our goals was to find something that gives back to the community," he said. "We picked Stow because we wanted to get involved in the community we lived in for so long."
Whalen expressed his eagerness to work with the schools in Stow and Munroe Falls.
"We're here to help," he said. "I think they're doing a wonderful job."
Stow-Munroe Falls Chamber of Commerce Director Cindy Smith-Lewis said she is looking forward to the grand opening.
"The owner has been working on it for months," she said. "I'm very pleased and very proud to have them in the community."
The establishment's hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Whalen said he pays approximately $3,500 per month to rent space in the building where the business is located.
Call 330-686-8795 or 330-688-1579 to register for the event, though registration is not required. Refreshments and door prizes will be provided.