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Oberlin Schools seeks public input on designs for consolidated building


OBERLIN — Oberlin Schools Superintendent John Schroth is asking the public to weigh in on four design proposals for a new consolidated K-12 building.

The proposals, designed by the BNIM and Stantec architectural firms, were presented to the public during a Board of Education meeting Tuesday.

The designs ranged from linear, a building with separate areas for each age group, to a campus scheme, which shows two buildings connected by a green area. In that design, the buildings would share some facilities.

BNIM also presented a park scheme with one building in the middle of the site, and a street scheme, with an open park area and a large parking lot.

Schroth said the designs can be accessed on the district’s website. Anyone with questions or comments on the designs can call his office at (440) 776-4550.

He said the goal is to get input from the public, as the district has been doing with its effort to include the community in the planning process.

“I want to get it in front of as many people as we can,” he told those at the meeting.

Schroth added that the district would consider which designs residents favored and could combine designs, if needed.

On Tuesday, community leaders said progress has been made in the planning phases of the district’s consolidation, in which a financial package will be presented to voters in November.

Leaders discussed ways to share services with the community, such as using Oberlin College’s athletic facilities. They also talked about how a new building could benefit the community, such as for adult night classes by Lorain County Community College or for organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Oberlin.

Rick Flood, of Solutions in Sustainability LLC, discussed his part of the district’s repurposing committee, which is to find ways to use the old school buildings.

Flood said a study completed in June determined that Eastwood Elementary School should be converted into a building for community use. That building will be open to organizations later this year for tours and suggestions.

The study found that Prospect Elementary School should be razed and the property converted to a residential lot, and Langston Middle School could be converted to residential units for the Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority, Kendal at Oberlin or Oberlin College.

Oberlin High School should be torn down, unless a portion is integrated into the new school building, Flood added.

Board of Education member Albert Borroni said studies have shown that a consolidated school building would improve student academics.

Todd Rasmussen, director of finance for student affairs at Case Western University, is part of the district’s grant foundation corporate scholarship committee. He has been looking at potential grants and loans that the district could receive for the project.

Schroth stressed that the plans are not finished yet.

“This is a progress report,” he said. “This is not an end, but we’re leaving no stones unturned. It’s wonderful to have a community where so many people are willing to help out, and it’s great to have so much expertise.”

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

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