December 21, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
31°F
test

North Ridgeville football stadium completion date not a certainty

Water stands on the sideline of the North Ridgeville High School football stadium earlier this month. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Water stands on the sideline of the North Ridgeville High School football stadium earlier this month. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — The thought of a new sports stadium for North Ridgeville Schools being ready for the 2014 football season might have been a bit too ambitious.

Following a tour earlier this month of a new stadium opened in 2012 at Mayfield High School east of Cleveland, William Greene, the district’s assistant superintendent of building services, said administrators and others were excited over prospects of being able to fast-track the Rangers’ new stadium for an August opening.

But both Greene and Superintendent James Powell said Monday that while that goal still is a possibility, variables — including bad winter and spring weather as well as the length of time needed to develop a site plan — could delay the project.

The stadium project is part of a sweeping plan to construct a new third- through eighth-grade school as well as a 5,000-seat stadium to the tune of roughly $8 million to replace the current one.

Chief among the items that need to occur is development of a site plan that will determine exactly where the stadium and school are to be built on 100 acres of land owned by the district in the area around North Ridgeville High School in the Bainbridge Road/Pitts Boulevard area.

Sycz did note the stadium project doesn’t have nearly as many state-required procedures and timelines as the new middle school, which will greatly ease the system’s crowded buildings.

Even if the district can’t complete the stadium by August, it still has the ability to play home games at the current Ranger Stadium facing state Route 83 behind the present middle school.

The Ohio School Facilities Commission — which kicked in $8.9 million for the new school — has posted qualifications on its website for architectural firms to submit proposals for the $58.1 million voters authorized by passage of a bond issue earlier this month.

Architects have until Dec. 10 to respond.

The district is consulting on the new school with the Columbus-area architectural firm Fanning Howey.

The new school will need to address “21st-century learning environments,” Greene said. “Classrooms are not necessarily 30-by-30 feet with 25 desks in a row anymore.”

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.