CUYAHOGA FALLS -- The Planning Commission approved on March 7 Walsh Jesuit High School's proposed improvements to its Conway Memorial Stadium.

The school, located at 4550 Wyoga Lake Road, submitted a major site plan for a 200 square foot ticket booth, a 3,600 square foot restroom and concessions facility, an 8,000 square foot team room fieldhouse, a picnic shelter and bleacher grandstands.

Nick Sugar, senior planner for the city, said the site is designed in compliance with the General Plan and contributes to the overall character of the planning area around it.

"The [general] plan identifies Walsh Jesuit, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and Woodridge [Local Schools] as important educational centers in the Northampton Planning Area," Sugar stated in his report to the Commission. " [The project is] located in the E-1 zoning district. This zoning district does allow for a variety of civic uses including secondary schools, higher education facilities, government offices and public assemblies."

The proposal represents continued improvements to the Walsh Jesuit Campus, he added. City Council is scheduled to introduce an ordinance to accept the plans on March 13. Barring any delays, the legislation will be discussed March 20 and voted on March 27.

Sugar said the exteriors of the buildings will be face brick matching the existing school buildings. A vertical corrugated metal panel will also be used. Roofs will be metal and have an inclined or "shed" style, he said. The bleachers will be aluminum.

In addition to the city's General Plan, the plans are in compliance with the city's General Development Code, Sugar said.

"The purpose of the improvements is to improve on some of the facilities they have with renovations of existing buildings, some new buildings, to meet some of the new program needs and, with some of the architecture, to provide a new identity for this sports complex," said Kiera Szytec of Kaczmar Architects Inc."

Kiera said improvements include a new team room fieldhouse and team room, a new concession stand with a spirit shop where team apparel can be sold, additional restrooms, a covered picnic shelter for gatherings such as alumni events, a new entrance and ticket booth, new grandstands on both sides, a new press box with a covered video platform, all surrounded by a decorative fence.

The existing restroom building will be re-clad with matching brick and metal and repurposed to serve as a storage building, she said, also noting pathways will be built between the stadium and the school and the parking lot and they will be illuminated by wand lights in the ground.

"Very impressive," Planning Commission member Louise Mazur said about the project.

Ed Monaco, also on the Planning Commission, said, "The architects did a very nice job tying all of the buildings together aesthetically." Monaco said he also likes the landscaping they plan to do.

"A job well done," said Russ Iona, a member of the Commission as well as the Ward 8 Councilman. The Commission voted 5-0 to recommend City Council approve the project. Two members of the Commission were absent.

Following the meeting, Louis Ciraldo, a member of Walsh's board of directors, said work will likely begin in mid-April. A contractor has not yet been chosen, he said.

Ciraldo declined to give the cost of the project.

"This is something that was funded many years ago," he said. "This is the fourth phase of the original field replacement which was done two-and-a-half years ago, and the lighting, as well. We've had donors along the way."


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