By Sue Botos
As students walk out of the door of Rocky River High School for summer vacation on June 5, construction workers will ramp up their activity, especially concerning the Wagar Road parking area.
At a recent school board meeting, Superintendent Michael Shoaf stated that work will begin on the westernmost parking area in June, and will be completed in time for the start of school at the end of August. “I’ve had a lot of calls regarding that parking lot and when it will be complete,” Shoaf stated. He added that the trees bordering Wagar will be removed, but will be replaced.
At that meeting, the board accepted a bid totaling $777,036 from Ohio Paving & Construction Co. Inc. for the work. Board Treasurer Greg Marcus added that $70,000 of a surplus fund, not used for other projects, was available for the work, and would be used to transfer soil during the project.
Shoaf added that work on the stadium parking lot will begin soon.
Marcus and school board Finance Committee Chairman Scott Swartz also briefed the board on a possible lease/purchase financing option for the upgrading of the stadium’s turf field. Marcus emphasized that the funds could only be used for the field, and not for items like new buses. He said that FirstMerit bank would allow a seven-year payment period, adding that there is one payment left, to be made in December of this year, on the bonds used to finance the original turf field installation and other improvements in 2003.
“When we rake it, it tears. It has another season, maybe two left, in my opinion,” Shoaf said.
Human resources Director Sam Gifford added that the usage of the field has spiked, especially in recent years, with groups using the facility seven days a week.
While landscaping is not included in the capital improvements budget, Facilities Committee Chairman Jay Milano said that fundraising efforts by the Campus Project will cover much of the cost, including the renovation of the Arts and Science Courtyard.
“This is the center of the school and the keystone of our beautiful new commons, which looks out onto this area,” Milano said, adding that after the parking lots have been paved. “We may squeeze out enough money to take down the smoke stack.” That structure, which has been nonfunctional for years, occupies much of the courtyard’s space.
According to the Campus Project’s Dave Furry, $40,000 has been raised for the courtyard through the sale of commemorative walkway pavers. He added that an additional $15,000 has been raised to beautify the Wagar Road entrance. Naming rights for the stadium, he said, are still up for grabs.
“We are on time and on budget for everything,” commented Shoaf, adding, “There is a lot of coordinating going on right now.”