Board Previews Phase I New Schools: Ely Elementary and Northwood CampusPosted by Amy Higgins at 10/4/2017
During the regular Board of Education meeting, Wednesday, October 4, board members previewed the schematics and architectural renderings of the first of five new schools to be built in Elyria: Ely Elementary and Northwood Campus.
Phase I of the plan calls for the construction of Ely and Northwood Campus and the demolition of Hamilton and Spring Valley schools. Ely, a new K-4 elementary will be built on the current site of Ely Elementary school on Gulf Road in Elyria. The Northwood Campus, a Prek-8 complex, will be built at the current site of Pioneer Field and Spring Valley school on Abbe Road in Elyria. The schools are tenatively scheduled to open in 2019.
Phase II of the project will see construction of Eastern Heights Campus, a K-8 complex on the current site of Eastern Heights Middle School, the new McKinley School, a K-4 elementary school on the current site of Hamilton school on Middle Avenue, and Westwood campus, a K-8 complex on the current site of the Administration Center and Crestwood Elementary School in Elyria Township. Phase II schools are tentatively scheduled to open in 2021.
Phase III will involve the demolition of the district's existing, remaining schools.
Here's a look at what architects have in store for the new Ely Elementary School and Northwood Campus.
Key to Ely's design is maintaining historic elements of the existing Ely School, built in the 1920s. Architects will incorporate the historic Ely arched entrance, the school's founding date inscription on the facade and keyhole details in the roofline. Interior elements will be preserved as well. The new design gives a nod to Ely's history yet incorporates all the modern elements of 21st Century education.
Northwood Campus will offer a more modern, colorful design, yet fit in with the entire design plan of the new schools throughout the city. The exterior materials of all of the buildings will resemble materials used on the exterior of Elyria High School. The new schools will incorporate extended learning areas, collaborative spaces that are flexible and progressive for teaching and learning needs today and in the future.
Residents are invited to attend an open house at Elyria High School in the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, October 10, from 6 to 7 PM, to preview the new designs of Ely and Northwood Campus and to speak to architectural team and school administrators.
Northwood Campus aerial:
Pre-K wing of Northwood campus:
Northwood schematic first floor:
Northwood schematic second floor:
Ely Elementary aerial:
Ely Elementary schematic:
Ely Elementary renderings:
Work sessions to encourage local participation in new school projectPosted by Amy Higgins at 10/4/2017
The Elyria City School District is embarking on a project to rebuild its aging elementary and middle schools after voters approved a bond issue last November.
The construction management team charged with building five new schools in Elyria is Cleveland-based AGS, a conglomerate of AECOM, Greenspace Construction Services, and Scaparotti Consulting Group.
AGS and the district’s design firm, Architectural Vision Group (AVG), Westlake, are partnering with the Lorain County Urban League to help local companies, contractors and workers participate in the nearly
140-million-dollar construction project.
The team will host several informational meetings and EDGE/MBE/Prequalification work sessions to help local companies and employees understand the process of getting involved.
The meetings will take place at the Lorain County Urban League, 200 Middle Avenue, Ste. 200, in Elyria.
Meetings/work sessions will be held from 6-8 p.m. according to the following schedule:
- October 5, 2017
- November 11, 2017
- December 7, 2017
- January 4, 2018
The project calls for building five new schools in phases:
- Ely Elementary School, a K-4 elementary school at the current site of Ely Elementary School
- McKinley Elementary School, a K-4 elementary school at the current site of Hamilton School on Middle Avenue
- Eastern Heights Campus: a K-8 campus at the current site of Eastern Heights Middle School
- Northwood Campus: a preK-8 campus at the current site of Pioneer Field on Abbe Road
- Westwood Campus: a K-8 campus at the current site of the Administration Center in Elyria Township
The scope of the project also includes remodeling the existing Westwood Middle School as a new administration and maintenance center.
Phase I will see the construction of Ely Elementary School and the Northwood Campus, and demolition of Spring Valley and Hamilton schools. Early site work will begin this fall. The Phase I buildings of Ely Elementary and Northwood Campus are tentatively slated to open in 2019.
School Board reviews draft designs of two new schoolsPosted by Amy Higgins at 8/17/2017
At the Aug. 16, 2017 Elyria Board of Education meeting, board members reviewed draft architectural sketches of the first two schools to be built in the Master Plan: Ely Elementary and the Northwood Campus (existing Pioneer Field site).The sketches emerged from discussions held during a three day workshop on educational visioning for Elyria Schools. Educational visioning is a method of assessing current educational practices and curriculum delivery and planning for the future, particularly as it relates to 21st Century education.The three-day visioning workshop was held in June, 2017, and pulled together about 60 staff members, parents, community members and students to discuss education today and in the future, and how facilities fit in.A full report from the educational visioning workshop will be posted soon to the district's website.The architectural draft schematics that board members reviewed during the school board meeting are still in a fine-tuning phase by architects. The final schematic designs will be submitted to the state at the end of August, at which time they'll be shared publicly.To learn more about 21st Century facilities and the Elyria Schools visioning process, please take a few moments to watch the video here.
Ely Stadium renderings unveiledPosted by Amy Higgins at 8/16/2017
The Aug. 16, 2017, Elyria Board of Education meeting provided a first look at renderings of the new Ely Stadium. The stadium, the surrounding multisports complex and other features are scheduled to open in the 2019-20 school year at the existing site on Middle Avenue.
Architectural Vision Group (AVG), of Westlake, is designing the stadium complex, as well as designing five new Elyria schools that will be built over the next five years. Elyria community members will no doubt recognize AVG as the celebrated designer of Elyria High School.
Also at the Aug. 16 board meeting, AVG and the board's representative on the project, Paul Rigda, presented key details on the plans thus far, which included a timeline of construction activities. The unveiling of the artist renderings became the highlight of the evening, as it offered a glimpse of the exterior and interior of the new stadium. This also included a look inside the planned fieldhouse and multipurpose room, which will house batting cages, infield practice areas and more.
The renderings are posted below.
Elyria Board Names New Schools Upon ConstructionPosted by Amy Higgins at 6/28/2017
The Elyria Board of Education stayed true to the past tonight as it named five new schools that will be built over the next five years as part of a multimillion-dollar construction project approved by voters last November.
The district’s oldest buildings, McKinley and Ely, will see their names preserved.
Ely Elementary, located at 312 Gulf Road and named after Elyria’s founding father, Heman Ely, will reopen under the same name and at the same address in 2019.
McKinley Elementary, located at 620 E. River and named for America’s Ohio-born President, William McKinley, will close when a new elementary and middle school campus is built at the current site of Eastern Heights.
The McKinley name will carry on at a new site: 1215 Middle Ave., the site of the former Hamilton School. The new McKinley, which will house kindergarten through fourth grade, is slated to open in 2021.
Eastern Heights Middle School, 528 Garford Ave., now serves students in sixth through eighth grade. When it reopens by 2021 as a campus for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, it will do so at the same location and with essentially the same name: Eastern Heights Campus. The facility will sit on the land the district already owns there. The district won’t need to acquire additional property in the Eastern Heights area to build the new campus.
Northwood Middle School, situated at 700 Gulf Road, now serves students in sixth through eighth grade. By 2019, Northwood will have a new look, a new location and a new purpose. Northwood Campus — its new name when constructed — will be located at 570 N. Abbe Road, currently the site of Pioneer Field. It will serve students in preschool through eighth grade.
The former Spring Valley Early Education Center, 1005 Rosealee Ave., will be demolished this year as part of the larger plan to make way for Northwood Campus.
A campus configuration won’t be a significant shift in Elyria Township, where a middle school, elementary school, preschool and administration center already share land.
Westwood Middle School, located at 42350 Adelbert St. and serving grades six through eight, is a stone’s throw from Crestwood Elementary, the Elyria Early Childhood Village and the Board of Education office.
The new Westwood Campus will open by 2021 at 42101 Griswold Road, serving kindergarten to eighth grade.
The former Westwood Middle School building will be renovated and will reopen as administrative and maintenance offices by 2022.
Campus configurations offer the best of both worlds.
Schools co-located under one roof will realize operating efficiencies sharing HVAC systems and some multipurpose spaces. In their unique designs, however, they’ll maintain their independence and character as individual schools: elementary and intermediate. These distinct wings in the new campus will separate younger and older students to ensure they don’t co-mingle. The campus will feature separate entrances into the buildings and main offices, as well as different bell schedules to flex coming and going and help ease traffic flow. Additionally, parking areas will be designed to provide multiple entrances and exits at main thoroughfares.
Demolition of the existing schools will begin this fall with the Spring Valley building on Rosalee and the Hamilton building on Middle Avenue.
The remaining school buildings of Crestwood, Early Childhood Village, Ely, Franklin, McKinley, Oakwood, Prospect, Windsor, Eastern Heights Middle, Northwood Middle and the Administration Center will be demolished between 2021 and 2022, when the new schools are complete.
The project’s construction manager is AGS, a conglomerate of three entities: AECOM Technical Services; Greenspace Construction Services; and Scaparotti Consulting Group. The designer is Architectural Vision Group (AVG), which designed the new Elyria High School. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) is an owner in the project, providing 67 percent of the construction funds.
The bond issue that voters approved last November included a provision to replace Ely Stadium with a new 5,000-seat stadium, turf football/soccer field, competition track, practice fields, a venue for the Elyria High School Pioneer Marching Band, and concessions and parking.
Phase two of the project will include new tennis courts and new fields for baseball and softball, as well as a new field house with interior batting cages and a multipurpose area, lockers rooms and coaches offices.
AVG is the architect on the Ely Stadium project. A builder will be selected at a later date.
Elyria Board of Education Approves Athletic Complex DesignPosted by Amy Higgins at 6/8/2017
The Elyria Board of Education on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, unanimously approved a comprehensive design and construction plan for the new Ely Stadium project, with construction slated to begin later this summer.
The approval marks the end of a months-long consultation and planning process that involved numerous community members, school leaders, and designers, all of whom provided critical input on countless aspects of the multimillion-dollar project.
The board approval of the stadium plan is a testament to the district’s ability to work cooperatively and efficiently with the state and federal agencies that set rigorous standards for land use in commercial projects.
The new athletic complex, housed at the current site of Ely Stadium: 1915 Middle Avenue, will replace the existing 90-year-old stadium and fields with a new turf football/soccer field, a competition track, practice fields, eight tennis courts, two baseball and two softball fields, and a venue for the Elyria High School Pioneer Marching Band.
A new field house will include indoor batting cages and a multipurpose athletic area, as well as locker rooms, team offices and concession space.
The grandstands will seat 5,000 fans comfortably and the grounds and accommodations will be fully ADA compliant. The first phase of the project includes the new football/soccer field and track, practice fields and parking, and is expected to be ready for play in 2018.
This evening the plan will move forward to the design/planning commission of the city of Elyria.
NOTE: To view sketches/illustrations/graphics of the new Ely Stadium and to read the full powerpoint presentation on the new design, click here.
Elyria Schools hires architect for new schools, stadium; approves land clearing contract for stadium sitePosted by Amy Higgins at 3/7/2017 10:00:00 AM
The Elyria City School District and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) selected Architectural Vision Group (AVG), Westlake, Ohio, to design and oversee construction of five new schools in Elyria.
The firm also was hired by the district to design a new athletic complex at the existing south-Elyria site of Ely Stadium.
AVG is known to Elyria residents as the firm that designed the new Elyria High School and renovated the Washington Building after a bond issue passed in 2007.
Last November, voters approved a new bond issue on the ballot to finish the job and replace the district’s elementary and middle schools.
The plan calls for:
- a K-4 elementary school on the site of Ely Elementary (Gulf Road);
- a K-4 elementary school on the site of Hamilton School (Middle Avenue);
- a K-8 campus on the site of Eastern Heights Middle School (Garford Ave.);
- a PreK-8 campus on the site of Pioneer Soccer Field (Abbe Road);
- and a K-8 campus on the site of Crestwood Elementary and the Administration Building (Griswold Road).
The scope of work also includes remodeling Westwood Middle School as an administration and maintenance center, and abating and demolishing the existing elementary and middle schools throughout Elyria.
“We are very gratified that we have been selected by the Elyria School District for the second phase of their capital improvement project,” said Syed Abbas, AVG president. “As with the High School, we will strive to give the Elyria community the best possible solutions for their new schools.”
The OFCC is partnering with the community to rebuild its schools, paying 67%, or nearly $80 million, of the $119 million.
The district and OFCC will interview and hire a construction manager at risk (CMR) in April.
In the meantime, AVG will begin the design phase of the project which includes a process called the “program of requirements;” a series of meetings the firm will have with school staff members to discuss needs of the classrooms, offices and shared spaces.
The firm also will begin preparing the sites and demolishing buildings not in use by the district, including Spring Valley and Hamilton. This work will begin as soon as August.
A preliminary timeline was rolled out on February 15, 2017, by Elyria Board of Education Owner's Rep, Paul Rigda, former superintendent of Elyria Schools. The timeline can be found here. Watch the video of the presentation here.
The Athletic Complex
AVG will design and oversee construction of the new athletic complex at the site of Ely Stadium.
Voters approved phase 1 of the project in the bond issue as a locally funded initiative (LFI) for 9.3 million dollars.
The new complex will utimately house Pioneer football, soccer, baseball, softball, track, and a venue for band performances. Phase 1 of the project will be built concurrently with new schools.
In a special meeting on March 7, the Elyria Board of Education approved a resolution to hire Miller Logging Inc., Holmesville, Ohio, to clear land on the south end of the 45-acre stadium site: future home to the new football and soccer fields, competition track and grandstand.
The work will begin immediately.
Tours give first-hand look inside and outside elementary, middle schoolsPosted by Amy Higgins at 9/7/2016
This month, residents can walk in the shoes of Elyria students as their aging, deteriorating elementary and middle schools are open for tours.
The district’s existing preK-8 schools are 50 to 100 years old and they need to be replaced, not renovated, according to the Ohio School Facilities Commission—the state agency that partnered in the reconstruction of Elyria High School.
The district’s elementary and middle schools have deficiencies that must be addressed: structural concerns, inadequate heating and cooling systems, failing plumbing and antiquated electrical and technology infrastructures that don’t support today’s high-tech teaching and learning needs.
These buildings also lack modern safety and security features.
Residents are invited to tour the schools according to the following schedule:
- McKinley Elementary, 620 East River St., September 12, 5:30 p.m.
- Ely Elementary School, 312 Gulf Rd., September 13, 5:30 p.m.
- Franklin Elementary School, 446 West 11th, September 14, 5:30 p.m.
- Crestwood Elementary School, 42331 Griswold Rd., September 15, 5:30 p.m.
- Westwood Middle School, 42350 Adelbert Street, September 15, 6:30 p.m.
- Eastern Heights Middle School, 528 Garford Ave., September 19, 5:30 p.m.
- Northwood Middle School, 700 Gulf Rd., September 20, 5:30 p.m.
- Oakwood Elementary School, 925 Spruce St., September 21, 5:30 p.m.
- Windsor Elementary School, 264 Windsor Dr., September 22, 5:30 p.m.
- Elyria Early Childhood Village, 42101 Griswold Rd., September 28, 5:30 p.m.
- Prospect Elementary School, 1410 Prospect St., September 29, 5:30 p.m.
This November 8, residents will have the opportunity to vote on Issue 23, a bond issue that will fund the construction and furnishings of new PreK through 8th grade schools. These schools will replace the aging, deteriorating elementary and middle schools that the state deemed no longer suitable for education.
The plan for new schools also “right-sizes” the district for its current and projected enrollment, calling for five schools instead of the existing 11, built on properties the district already owns.
Two of the schools will house grades kindergarten through fourth; two more will house kindergarten through eighth grade in age-appropriate wings; and one would house preschool through eighth grade. This issue also funds a new stadium to replace our deteriorated century-old stadium.
The state will pay for $79.9 million of the plan, which is 67% of the cost, but only if voters approve Issue 23 on the November ballot. With passage, the owner of a home valued at $100 thousand dollars would see an increase in property taxes of approximately $11 per month.
Community meetings Invite Talk on New SchoolsPosted by Amy Higgins, Communications and Marketing Director at 6/30/2016
In July and August, residents can join Superintendent Jama for conversation on the district's master plan for new preK-8 schools throughout the community.
The district will host five community meetings in the neighborhoods where new schools would be located if a bond issue is approved on November 8, 2016. Parents, residents and community partners are encouraged to attend. You can read Dr. Jama's letter to the community here: Resident Letter of Invitation to Community Meetings
The meeting specifics are:
- Monday, July 11, 6-7 p.m. at Boys & Girls Club, 1821 Middle Avenue
- Tuesday, August 2, 6-7 p.m. at Ely Elementary School, 312 Gulf Road
- Thursday, August 4, 6-7 p.m. at Westwood Middle School, 42350 Adelbert St.
- Thursday, August 11, 6-7 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 680 N. Abbe Road
- Tuesday, August 23, 6-7 p.m. at Eastern Heights Middle School, 528 Garford Ave.
The plan calls for reducing school sites from 11 to five. The scope includes one preschool through grade 8 campus at the Pioneer Field site on Abbe Road; one kindergarten through grade 8 campus on the site of the existing Eastern Heights Middle School on Garford Ave.; one kindergarten through grade 8 campus on the site of the existing Crestwood School Administration Center in Elyria Township; one kindergarten through grade 4 elementary school on the site of the existing Ely Elementary School on Gulf Road; and one kindergarten through grade 4 elementary school at the existing Hamilton School site on Middle Ave. The plan also includes a new stadium to replace the deteriorating Ely Stadium. The bond issue if approved would cost the owner of a $100,000 home value about $11 per month.
The state evaluated the district's existing buildings and determined they should be replaced, not renovated, due to structural problems and inadequate mechanical and electrical systems that can't support today's technology. If voters approve a bond issue on November 8, the state will pay 67%, or nearly $80 million, of the cost to rebuild preK-8 schools.
Board Approves Resolution of NecessityPosted by Amy Higgins, Director of Communications and Marketing at 6/16/2016
Last night the Board of Education approved a resolution of necessity for the issuance of bonds for building new preK-8 schools throughout the community. The resolution was delivered to the auditor's office today. You can read the full resolution here: resolution of necessity. The auditor will set the bond issue millage and in the financial world, things look good on that front. With all known facts at this time, the estimated millage is 3.86 which, with a bond issue of this size, equates to about $11 per month for the owner of a $100,000 home value.
The new plan calls for replacing the district's 11 aging and deteriorating elementary and middle schools with one preK-8 campus, two k-8 campuses, and two k-4 schools. Reducing schools from 11 to five will save millions in operating costs and IMPROVE education. The bond issue also includes a new stadium to replace the deteriorating Ely Stadium. Combining the stadium with the preK-8 building plan offers savings on design, construction and engineering costs.
The OSFC has studied our elementary and middle schools and found significant problems that inhibit learning, and would cost too much to repair.
Our existing schools are between 60 and 100 years old. The state has recommended replacing them due to serious structural problems, inadequate heating and cooling, failing plumbing, lack of modern safety and security features and aging electrical systems that can’t handle today’s technology.
The state will pay $80 million—or two-thirds the cost—to rebuild our preK-8 schools if voters approve a bond issue to cover the remaining cost of the project.
The board will place the bond issue on the November 8, 2016 ballot.