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4. Elyria school district changes master plan, then reconsiders

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    Paul Rigda speaks at an Elyria School Board meeting at the Elyria Schools Administration Building on March 21.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Elyria councilman Marcus Madison speaks at an Elyria School Board meeting at the Elyria Schools Administration Building on March 21.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Attendees at Elyria School Board meeting at the Elyria Schools Administration Building on March 21.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Elyria School Board members listen to residents at an Elyria School Board meeting at the Elyria Schools Administration Building on March 21.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Elyria resident Aric Bowens speaks at the Elyria School Board meeting about the possible elimination of a southside Elyria school Wednesday at Elyria Schools Administration Building.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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    Kevin Brubaker, Elyria City Schools School Board President, listened as community members voiced their opinions and concerns about the status of the proposed school for the south side of the community, and that many students will have to be bused to the school on the other side of the district.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Annie Carstarphen, Elyria City Schools School Board Vice President, listened as community members voiced their opinions and concerns about the status of the proposed school for the south side of the community, and that many students will have to be bused to the school on the other side of the district.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Aric Bowens and Chalene Mudd were two community members who went to Jones Chapel A.M.E., in Elyria, to voice their concerns about the status of the proposed school that was intended to searve the south side of Elyria.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    The former Hamilton Elementary School on Middle Avenue in Elyria, the planned site of a new elementary school, is now on the chopping block because of cost overruns.

    CHRONICLE FILE

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Increased estimated construction costs gave the Elyria Board of Education sticker shock in March, when their $124 million plan for consolidating 11 elementary and middle schools into five buildings ballooned to $135 million.

The subsequent news that the board might alter the plan by eliminating two of those buildings and building only three new campus-style buildings on the city's west, east and north sides was met with community backlash.

Citizens told the board they voted in November 2016 to approve local funding for a five-school plan, and demanded that promise be fulfilled. That meant staying committed to building at least one new school on the city's south side.

The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission gave the district the good news in May: They could keep the five-school plan as long as they reduced the size and sped up the timeline for the construction of the new schools.



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