September 19, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
59°F
test

School board hires contractor for new EHS

ELYRIA — State education officials honored the Elyria school district’s request to hire Regency Construction Services, a Lakewood-based firm the district has worked with for years, to oversee construction of the new Elyria High School.

Regency’s appointment as construction manager of the EHS project was announced by Ohio Schools Facilities Commission on Wednesday, and the firm will be working closely with the Architectural Vision Group, the project’s architect.

At Wednesday’s school board meeting, representatives from the two companies unveiled the most comprehensive list to date of what the new high school will feature, offering a glimpse at just how they plan to divvy up the approximately 300,000 square feet allotted for the new high school.

The list, a 16-page document, is a raw summary of what project planners call the Program of Requirements (POR) phase, a months-long project that has nearly reached its end.

The POR phase is the first part of the planning that etches a basic idea of what the new school will feature, divvying up square footage into 14 different areas for the new school. It offers no physical renderings or drawings that hint at the possible look of a new high school, but it does hammer out the raw numbers.

School officials will vote on the final POR results at the Oct. 3 board meeting.

However, they’ll likely have to wait an additional two to three weeks after that because state officials have to approve the final plans.

With that schedule, Superintendent Paul Rigda said that the next phase, the schematics phase, could begin by late October.

The schematics phase could take three to four months — it’ll be completed in December of January — and it’s the first actual phase where Elyria residents will see a basic physical layout of the new school, Rigda said.

“The design will be about 30 percent complete by then,” Rigda said, adding that the schematics phase lays out the footprint of the school, but doesn’t include exterior drawings.

The phase after the schematics phase is the design and development phase, a four-month process that will bring the high school’s design process to 60 percent completion.

The design-development phase should begin in late December or January and be completed by late spring, Rigda said, adding that the lay observer will be most interested in the results of that phase because it will offer the most real and useful drawings of what the new school will look like.

In the meantime, school official are still chipping away at property issues in the block of land south of the high school, where the new school is planned for expansion.

The school board on Wednesday voted to pay J.L. Reichert Inc., $421,000 to demolish dozens of structures in that area — homes, garages, apartment buildings and such — to make way for the new high school. To date, less than half a dozen properties still need to be purchased by the school district.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.