2016-2017 In a NutshellA quick look at some of the monumental events from this past school year in Elyria is all you need to see it was truly one for the books.
The most obvious example of this is the bond issue that Elyria voters approved on Nov. 8, 2017, to fund construction of five new schools—three multi-grade campuses and two standalone elementary schools.
The new facilities will bring nearly $120 million in construction activity to the city of Elyria. The project also calls for a multi-million-dollar stadium. The state is footing 67 percent of the bill for new schools.
In 2017, the district hired Architectural Vision Group, of Westlake, to design the schools and the stadium. Residents should be pleased with this, as AVG designed Elyria High.
The job of building the schools belongs to AGS, a conglomerate of three entities: AECOM Technical Services, Greenspace Construction Services and Scaparotti Consulting Group.
The first schools going up are the K-4 Ely Elementary School and the PREK-8 campus at Pioneer Field. The first coming down are Hamilton School and Spring Valley. Construction begins this year. The new schools on the sites of Ely and Pioneer Field are scheduled to open in 2019.
The new athletic complex will take shape on the 45-acre Ely Stadium site. The Board of Education approved the plan for the new athletic complex June 7. Work is slated to begin in August, with the first phase (the football/soccer field, track and parking) opening in 2018.
These historic projects will change the face of education in Elyria for decades to come. More information is available at www.elyriaschools.org, under the Facilities Master Plan tab.
When we kicked off school last August, Ohio summer was living up to its reputation. The humidity and high temperatures in our antiquated buildings, many without air conditioning, made for extremely difficult learning environments.
As staff and students struggled with the heat, we could only conclude something had to give. After meeting on these matters, district administrators presented a new calendar option to the Board of Education.
We would start the school year after Labor Day in 2017-18. We’re pleased the request was unanimously approved. Our students will return to school on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017.
In March, the labor unions of the Elyria Schools certified and classified employees came together with the administration and Board to negotiate three-year contracts.
The negotiations process was swift, efficient and fair, settling well before the end of the school year. The involved leadership teams can mark it down as a success.
Students and staff were placed in predicaments this past year that truly tested their knowledge and skills of emergency situations.
They practice fire, tornado, lockdown, shelter-in-place and evacuation drills many times throughout the year. And they rehearse so that in a real emergency their response is instinctive.
That’s what we saw on multiple occasions throughout the district, most recently at Elyria High when telephone threats targeted the school.
Our responsibility in these situations is simple and straightforward: keep students safe. We work closely with first responders to ensure the safety of everyone on our grounds.
Safety is our No. 1 priority.
I want to commend our staff, students, parents and emergency teams for their calm, collected responses to crises this year. They stayed true to their training to ensure safety was top of mind at every turn. I could not be more proud of our schools and community.