The Elyria Schools Pioneer Press Spring Edition: School Construction Update

Posted by Amy Higgins on 3/28/2019

Construction is in full swing at the sites of Ely Elementary School on Gulf Road and Northwood Campus on North Abbe.


Next up on the schedule? Hamilton Elementary School on Middle Avenue.


For a rundown of what’s happening and what’s to come for each of the new school sites, read on.


Ely Elementary


The new Ely Elementary School is going up where Gulf Road and Ohio Street meet, just steps away from the existing Ely School building on the same property where the school has stood for more than a century.


With the project in full-scale construction mode, every precaution is in place to ensure student and staff safety on the grounds, including an extra crossing guard on school days at the construction vehicle entrance.


The new Ely Elementary School building will encompass approximately 61,000 square feet. It will house elementary through fourth grade.


The underground sanitary and water lines are all in place and the construction work has moved above ground. Crews have finished pouring the concrete footers, essential to the new building’s foundation.


Next will be the concrete block and brickwork, as the building begins to go vertical.


Ely is scheduled to open in August 2020.


Northwood Campus


North-siders have a great view of the construction work in progress between North Abbe Road and Rosalee Drive, at the former sites of the Pioneer Soccer Field and Spring Valley School.

This expansive space is home to the future Northwood Campus, a 129,000 square foot building that will house elementary and middle school through eighth grade.


Like Ely, the action at Northwood has been largely underground, with miles and miles of trenching and the installation of sewer and water lines.


And like Ely, Northwood is looking up with footers and foundation work in process and block and brickwork soon to follow.


Northwood Campus will open in August 2020.


Hamilton Elementary School


The vacant land at the corner of Middle Avenue and 13th Street on Elyria’s south side is the future home of Hamilton Elementary School, a 58,000 square foot building that will house preschool through fourth grade.


The Elyria Board of Education had its first glimpse of the stunning new Hamilton Elementary School presented as an architectural rendering at the Feb. 20 school board meeting.


At that same meeting, the board approved documents to move the building forward in the construction process. The project is now out for bid with contractors and the sitework is expected to begin this spring.


With every project, there are four phases of development in the building approval process before blueprints ever come to fruition:  


  • The first phase is called Program of Requirements. The architectural engineers and school district meet to discuss the needs of the building and the general and unique spaces inside its walls.


  • The next stage, Schematic Design, is akin to the “rough draft” stage of a project, with architects taking what they learned in the Program of Requirements phase and applying it to paper while exploring the potential costs of the project.


  • The third phase, Design Development, is a refinement stage where drawings now illustrate clear details and specifications of the building, showing how it will look and function. More budget estimations are made at this level to hone in on the final price, called the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP).


  • The fourth and final phase before construction begins is called Construction Documents, which are the actual documents or “blueprints” that contractors will use to build the building. At this phase, the GMP has been set and the contractors are held to a price for their work.


Ely and Northwood Campus have moved through all four phases of the process and are at GMP. Hamilton is in phase four, Construction Documents, and is out for bid.


Like Ely and Northwood, Hamilton will open in August 2020.


Eastern Heights Campus


At over 146,000 square feet, Eastern Heights Campus will be the largest of the three campus schools. The building will house elementary and middle school through eighth grade and it will be closely located to the existing Eastern Heights Middle School on the property between Garford Avenue and Prospect Avenue.


Like Ely, Eastern Heights students will continue attending school while their new school is built right next door.  


Eastern Heights is in phase three of the planning and development process, Development Design.


In the coming months, the district will announce plans for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Eastern Heights Campus location.


The building will open in August 2021.


Westwood Campus


Westwood Campus is in the preliminary phase of development, Program of Requirements, yet plans are moving swiftly along. Westwood, too, will open in August 2021.


This campus site, more than 94,000 square feet, will house elementary and middle school through eighth grade.


Plans for a groundbreaking ceremony will be announced in the coming months.


To keep up on the construction progress of Elyria’s five new school buildings, please visit and find us on Facebook/elyriaschools, Elyria City Schools on Twitter and on YouTube at Elyria Schools Pioneer TV.


Mercy Health Field at Ely Stadium


Open for business! The beautiful new athletic complex on Middle Avenue is home to the Pioneers. If you attended football games this past fall, you can attest: It is a sight to behold!


The 4,000-seat arena boasts a top-of-the-line synthetic turf field for football, band and soccer, a competition-grade track, practice fields, a field house with team offices, locker rooms and a weight room, new concession areas and plenty of restroom facilities, as well as new parking areas off Middle Avenue.


The complex features a unique design element, as well: a sculpture of the word “Pioneers,” similar in scope to the well-known “Cleveland” structure in downtown Cleveland.


The Pioneers sculpture looms large, just inside the grand promenade entrance. The spaces are colorfully lit with light-changing LEDs—the perfect place for game-day photos!


When the stadium reopens this spring, fans will see new tennis courts and expanded parking off Middle Avenue and Oberlin Road.


Over the winter months, the district added 250 parking spaces in the complex near the baseball fields, as well as a paved walkway to the stadium entrance areas. New fencing and bollards were added at the north end of the complex.


The baseball fields will be groomed for the new season. A new gazebo/shelter is planned for the future in the open space between the baseball fields and tennis courts.

Northwood site

A view of the work at the Northwood Campus site on March 28, 2019, from the construction site camera. You can see the latest images captured by the camera at Northwood and at Ely by clicking the links in the left sidebar column of this page.