ELYRIA — An industrial crane installed four 100-foot light fixtures Friday morning at the site of the new Elyria Schools’ $14 million sports complex.
Phase 1 is set to be completed in four months — in time for the first home game Aug. 24 against Avon Lake High School.
On Friday, everything appeared to be taking shape.
The light fixtures will shine down on the field from the 50-yard lines of both the home and away sides.
The exterior walls and framing of the main field house, which is home to the weight room, locker rooms, restrooms and concessions stands, are up.
On Friday morning, crews also were digging footers for the foundation of the new home stands that will seat 3,000 fans. Seating for another 1,000 spectators will go up across the field.
Elyria Schools will hold groundbreaking ceremonies for new elementary schools at the Ely Elementary and the site of the new McKinley Elementary. The Ely groundbreaking is set for noon June 1 at the school off Gulf Road. The McKinley groundbreaking is noon June 8 at the site of the former Hamilton school on Middle Avenue. All are welcome to attend these community events.
Sean Murphy, project manager at the site, said the track and turf field will go in soon.
“Things are going really good,” he said Friday. “We were fighting a lot of weather to begin with. The snow, rain and water were problems, but we are going to be ready. We will open for kickoff. The kids will get to play their first game here.”
Phase 1 also includes two soccer fields, two practice football fields and new tennis courts.
The juxtaposition of new and old can be seen with the sports complex going up just south of the more than 90-year-old stadium, which sits on the location of Phase 2 of the project. Murphy said the old stadium will come down next month — after the 2018 graduating class becomes the last class to have its graduation ceremony on the old field.
District spokeswoman Amy Higgins said the final details are coming together for getting people in and out of the site for graduation. Because of the construction, there will be no parking at the stadium for parents and guests.
Instead, the district will bus attendees to the stadium in a continuous shuttle service that will take off from parking lots around Elyria High School and First Baptist Church. It will be similar to how families were transported to Ely Stadium early this month for Special Olympics.
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