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Medina has new road, playground to start school year

Photos by Tom Rivers: Contractors work on the new access road on Tuesday, a day before the start of the new school year.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 September 2018 at 1:31 pm

Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, is pictured on a new playground that will serve the elementary school.

MEDINA – The school district has a new road and playground at the elementary school to start that new year, with a host of other capital projects in the works including a new library in the high school.

Medina voters on Dec. 21, 2016 approved spending about $34 million for a series of upgrades at the school campus. In the summer of 2017, contractors worked on installing new turf and other improvements at Vet’s Park for the first major project with the capital improvements.

This summer, contractors built a new campus access road, linking Oak Orchard and Wise schools. The road ran through a playground by the elementary school.

That playground was removed and new one put in that is more age-appropriate, said Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent. The old playground served children in grades 3 to 5. The new one is geared for children in prekindergarten through grade 3.

“We’re happy to have it done by opening day,” he said.

The campus road cost about $3 million. It was built to handle heavy buses. The project includes demolition, removal and grading, as well as new sidewalks, stormwater management, parking and road lighting, as well as the removal of the old playground and construction of a new one. The project also added a new parking lot with room for 70-75 vehicles.

“The new road will save a considerable amount of time at dismissal,” Kruzynski said. “Before there were cars backed up on Gwinn and Oak Orchard.”

Contractors work on the new lights that will shine along the new road.

The high school library is being expanded and will be a media center. It should open in November. “I can’t wait to show that off,” Kruzynski said.

Contractors also are working on new drainage for the JV softball and baseball fields, and are getting a spot ready by the tennis courts and track for bleachers. Those bleachers will come from Vet’s Park and new ones will be put in. Vet’s Park is being expanded to boost the seating space from about 700 to 1,500. Moving the bleachers and some of the light poles back in what is now a wooded area will allow Medina to add some turf in one corner of the field, which is currently cramped, Kruzynski said.

The district was able to keep an older tree that provides some shade by the new playground.

Contractors are also building a pole barn for storage for marching band equipment, so the band no longer will have to rent at Olde Pickle Factory.

Oak Orchard Elementary, which is about 50 years old, will get new windows throughout the building, replacing the originals.

A big chunk of the capital project, about $13.5 million, will overhaul the HVAC at the three school buildings and the bus garage. The elementary, middle and high schools will also get air conditioning.

Contractors will work the second shift during the school year after classes to work on the HVAC. The project will replace the boilers, which are all about 25 years or older.

Dirt is moved and a foundation will go in for bleachers near the tennis courts.

The district will also upgrade its information technology, moving the network operations center from the basement of the district office to Oak Orchard Elementary School. The project will add fiber optics to handle future needs as Medina moves to more electronic devices and on-line testing.

Next summer the district will work on the roof, ceiling panels and wall panels at the swimming pool. That will keep the site closed for the summer.

The new parking lot, near the playground by the elementary school, has 70-75 spaces. It will mainly be used by teachers and staff, which will free up more spaces by the front of the school.

The capital project includes lots of other work, including new science labs in the high school, a revamped track, new bus lifts, firm alarm systems, door hardware and bathrooms that are handicapped accessible, including in the locker rooms.

The gym bleachers will also be renovated, and there will be work at the Ag Classroom and greenhouse. Many of the district’s drinking fountains will also be replaced.

The work will be spread out including during the school year because there is too much to be done only during the summer.

“It’s going to be really interesting the next two years, watching it all get done,” Kruzynski said.

The JV baseball and softball fields are getting new drainage. The fields will be off limits next spring for the teams. The rebuilt track next door will have six lanes, an event area, a scoreboard, and fencing and paving.

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