Find us on Facebook

Medina school district proposes $34 million capital project

Photos by Tom Rivers: The district’s current operations network will be moved out of a basement to the Oak Orchard Elementary School as part of a capital improvement project going before voters on Dec. 21. Tom Cox (left) is Medina’s interim superintendent and Mark Kruzynski is the director of finance.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 November 2016 at 8:56 pm

Residents will vote on project Dec. 21

MEDINA – The school district will ask residents on Dec. 21 to approve $34 million in capital improvements that include all of the district buildings, and will also upgrade athletic facilities and traffic flow by adding a road from the elementary to middle school, a move that should divert some traffic from West Oak Orchard Street.

The state would pay 92 percent of the project. Medina already has the local share for the project in its reserves, said Mark Kruzynski, the district’s director of finance.

The project is actually broken into two propositions: $32,588,000 for a slew of improvements at all three school buildings, the bus garage, Vets Park reconstruction and site work, including a new access road between Oak Orchard Elementary School and Clifford Wise Middle School.

The Medina Marching Band performs at Vets Park. The district is looking to add space at the site, and shift the home bleachers to the opposite side of the field and make other changes, including new turf.

The Medina Marching Band performs at Vets Park. The district is looking to add space at the site, and shift the home bleachers to the opposite side of the field and make other changes, including new turf.

The other proposition for $1,425,000 would allow for an expansion at Vets Park by acquiring 1.6 acres of land south of the park, adding permanent bleachers, more lighting, a new press box in the bleacher system, new fencing and additional synthetic turf in the current press box location.

There will be a public information session on the capital project at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Medina High School Auditorium, where there will be a public hearing 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Voting will take place on Dec. 21 from noon to 8 p.m. at the District Office (next to the high school).

“It’s a positive for pretty much everyone in the school district,” said Tom Cox, interim superintendent for Medina. “It will be a better climate for students and staff, and also for traffic movement.”

The project has been in the works since last spring, when a community formed to look at Medina facilities and make suggestions for renovations and improvements. The initial list of projects totaled more than $50 million.

The district wanted a project that would be “tax neutral,” Kruzynski said.

To get there, the main capital project was reduced to $32.6 million. Eliminating a plan to heat the campus by geothermal was the biggest cost reducer.

Wise Middle School would get a new HVAC system and a host of other improvements.

Wise Middle School would get a new HVAC system and a host of other improvements.

The project will address many issues in the district, including the following:

Health and Safety, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act:

  • Fire Alarm System, door hardware, toilets
  • Pool – roof, ceiling panels, wall panels
  • Windows and generator at Oak Orchard
  • Replace bus lifts

This work accounts for about $7.6 million, including $892,800 at the high school, $2,562,400 at Wise Middle School, $3,637,300 at Oak Orchard Elementary, $561,500 at the bus garage at $7,000 at the concession stand.

• HVAC – All three school buildings, including the bus garage will have HVAC totally overhauled. The schools will also be fully air-conditioned. The HVAC is about $13.6 million and the air-conditioning is $285,600 for each school or $856,800 total.

The HVAC costs are projected at $4,728,200 for the high school, $4,115,200 for the middle school, $4,103,000 for the elementary and $649,900 for the bus garage.

This map of the campus shows where the new access road would go, shifting some traffic from West Oak Orchard Street.

This map of the campus shows where the new access road and parking lot (in white) would go, shifting some traffic from West Oak Orchard Street.

• New access road from Oak Orchard to Wisefor bus traffic – $3,012,700

  • The campus road will include demolition, removal and grading
  • It will create heavy-duty pavement section
  • New sidewalks
  • Storm water management
  • Parking (About 75 parking spaces will be added) and road lighting
  • Existing playground removed and new one installed
  • Restore landscaping

• Information Technology – The district’s current network operations center is in the basement of the administration building in a flood vulnerable area. The operations center will be moved to Oak Orchard Elementary School at a cost of $380,000.

The current center in the basement has been cited by district auditors “as a potential disaster recovery problem for our data systems,” the district states on its website with an overview of the project.

The project would add fiber optics “to handle future needs as we move to more devices and on-line assessments,” the district stated.

Some of the improvements will be paid for with funds from the state’s “Smart Schools Bond Act.”

• Academic improvements at high school – Medina is planning to spend $2,408,900 in the high school for:

  • Upgraded science rooms
  • Renovations in library
  • Replacing windows and renovating toilet facilities
  • Providing marching band storage
  • Gym bleacher renovations
  • Reconstruction of JV softball and baseball fields and upgrades to practice fields
  • Renovations in Ag Classroom/Greenhouse

• Academic improvements at middle school – $1,028,000 for auditorium renovations including stage floor, carpet, house lighting, some lighting and sound

  • Toilet renovations
  • Science room renovations
The plan to have a campus access road, linking Oak Orchard and Wise schools, would run where this playground stands by the elementary school. The playground would be removed and a new one put on the other side of the school.

The plan to have a campus access road, linking Oak Orchard and Wise schools, would run where this playground stands by the elementary school. The playground would be removed and a new one put on the other side of the school.

• Academic improvements at elementary school – $2,085,600 will include:

  • Auditorium renovations – carpet, seating, general
  • Toilets
  • Drinking fountains
  • Classroom storage/units with sinks
  • Renovate playroom
  • Abate hazardous materials

• Vets Park (Proposition 1 – $2.2 million)

  • Remove and replace turf that was installed in 1998. The turf is used by football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball, field hockey, the marching band and youth sports in the community.
  • Drainage, sub-base reconstruction
  • Replace fencing as needed
  • New scoreboard/sound system
  • New backstops and moveable mounds for baseball and softball
  • Reconfigure/expand bleacher system
  • New walkways

• Site work for track – $896,000

  • The track will be reconstructed with 6 lanes, event areas, a scoreboard, fencing and paving.

If Medina voters approve the propositions, the district will work with appropriate faculty, staff and administrators to “fine tune” the concept to bring a final design that will be put out to bid in the winter/spring of 2018, pending State Education Department project approval, Cox said.

The Vet’s Park renovations will be on an accelerated timeline, with work hopefully to begin in next spring or summer, Cox said.

For more on the project, click here.