Elyria City to Consolidate Schools

ELYRIA, Ohio — The board of education approved several resolutions on Dec. 14 to move forward with construction projects for the Elyria City School District. While the resolutions were simply formalities, their approvals mean the district can now sell bonds to receive funds for construction.

In November, voters passed Issue 23, a 3.86-mill, 35-year bond issue that will be used to construct five new facilities for the district. The project will require approximately $140 million in state and local funding (67 percent of which will come from the state).

Expected to break ground next year, the project’s master plan will reduce the district’s footprint from 11 schools to five — specifically seven elementary schools and three middle schools into five buildings — and includes constructing a new football stadium. The project includes one PreK-8 school at the Pioneer Field site, one K-8 school on the site of the existing Eastern Heights Middle School, one K-8 school on the site of the existing Crestwood Elementary School, one K-4 school on the site of the existing Ely Elementary School and one K-4 school at the existing Hamilton Elementary School, according to The Chronicle-Telegram.

Bringing multiple grade levels together at central locations allows for the younger students to learn from their older peers. Plus, it helps the district save on costs, as less schools will require less heating, water, cooling and building systems, Superintendent Paul Rigda told The Chronicle-Telegram last March. The school district determined how much space it needed based on enrollment projections that project a district-wide study body of approximately 5,485 PreK-12 students by the year 2025.

Another highlight for the project is the $13.5 million sports complex, which will be completed in phases at the existing Elyria High School. Included in Phase 1 is the new stadium, which will include an all-weather polyurethane track, a new main entry gate and plaza, upgraded home and visitor bleachers and a field house for locker rooms, a weight/fitness room and trainer’s room.