Nordonia takes step forward on master facilities plan

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Nordonia Middle School Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 in Northfield, Ohio.

NORTHFIELD CENTER -- Another step toward creating a future master facilities plan for the Nordonia Hills City Schools was taken with the hiring of a pre-bond architect. 

The Nordonia Hills Board of Education approved 4-1 hiring SoL Harris/Day Architecture Inc. of North Canton for $97,000. The company will assist the district with community involvement initiatives as well as create drafts of potential building plans, said Superintendent Joe Clark. According to the contract, $45,000 would be used "for the community engagement piece," and the remaining $52,000 for the design work. 

Cooperative Strategies in Dublin has been retailed by SoL Harris for community engagement, according to the contract.

Nordonia Hills City Schools news:Nordonia schools to look at pre-bond architects

Timing of community involvement and plans discussed

Board member Tammy Strong cast the dissenting vote.

"I think we have it backwards," Strong said. "We are getting the community involvement, but where are the plans to show them where they are going?"

Board president Chad Lahrmer said that the community involvement would be "done simultaneously" with the architectural drafts, and that information from the community meetings could be used to assist the architects with the renderings. He added the district would be following "a template that other districts have successfully done this."

Clark said that the company will be "looking at our buildings and engaging the community to come up with master plans." Eventually, he added, the community would have a chance to decide on the district's plan of action, which could include renovating the district's current buildings, building new buildings, merging buildings, or doing nothing.

"It's going to be a significant amount of work," Clark said. 

The district has six school buildings: Northfield, Rushwood and Ledgeview elementary schools for kindergarten through fourth grade; Lee Eaton Elementary for fifth and sixth grade; Nordonia Middle School for seventh and eighth grade; and Nordonia High School.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com