ELYRIA — The architects who designed Elyria High School are going to design the city’s new elementary and middle schools, school officials said Tuesday.
The district and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission — the state agency funneling nearly $80 million to Elyria for the building project — selected the Architectural Vision Group of Westlake to design and oversee construction of the new schools. AVG is also the firm board members voted to hire to design the new athletic complex at the Ely Stadium site.
“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.”
Abbas and his team will need no time to get up to speed since they have been intricately involved in the district’s master planning process and have advised district officials for years.
The project will give AVG five new buildings to design, including a kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school on the site of Ely Elementary; a kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school on the site of Hamilton School; a kindergarten through eighth grade campus on the site of Eastern Heights Middle School; a prekindergarten through eighth grade campus on the site of Pioneer Soccer Field and a kindergarten through eighth grade campus on the site of Crestwood Elementary School and the Administration Building/former Elyria West High School in Elyria Township.
The district also is planning to remodel Westwood Middle School in the same complex as an administration and maintenance center, and abate and demolish the existing elementary and middle schools throughout Elyria.
Now that AVG is on board, the next steps will involve Elyria’s staff in the design of the new schools. This “program of requirements” will consist of several meetings to discuss the needs of the classrooms, offices and shared spaces.
It will take several years to design and build all of the new schools. The former Hamilton Elementary School and Spring Valley Early Childhood Center will be the first razed. The new buildings will be designed, constructed and opened on a continuous schedule with the first schools scheduled to open in the 2019-20 school year.
The stadium project will have a quicker timeline with work starting immediately with Miller Logging Inc. in Holmesville clearing land on the south end of the 45-acre stadium site at the end of West Avenue. The target date for the new stadium’s opening is the 2018-19 school year.
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