ELIDA — Elida Local Schools are one step closer to funding a new elementary school. At the Elida School Board meeting Tuesday night, members approved funding from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission Classroom Facilities Assistance Program. The state’s share of the $53.5 million dollar project is more than $18 million. Thanks to credit for some expenditures the local share will be reduced from $35 million to $12.5 million, which reduces the overall project to $30.7 million. “We’re excited to be moving forward with the project. It’s been something that’s been on the plate for quite a while. Voters obviously passed it in May, and now we’re going through that process with the state of kind of jumping through some of that red tape we’ve got to jump through. We’re excited to have the money released to us from the state. We know that next month we believe all of our local bonds are going to be sold and we’ll have all of the money in hand from that moving forward. So we’re excited about it and ready to get the process moving,” said Elida Superintendent Joel Mengerink. It’s still too early to start scheduling a groundbreaking. “We don’t really know that for sure. We have not had our first meeting with the State Facilities Commission. We hope to do that here in the early part of September. Our goal would be to have an early site package which would mean breaking some form of ground late next summer. From there it’s a good probably 18-month construction process moving forward,” said Mengerink. Tuesday was the first day of school for the district, and things were uncomfortable, to say the least, at the elementary school, which does not have air conditioning. “It’s part of the reason we went to the voters for a levy. Simply put it was pretty rough in the building today. Temperatures aren’t going to go down much overnight. I think the low is 74 so it’s going to start out warm tomorrow, too,” Mengerink said. When the elementary school is finished, the grades will be shuffled among the three buildings. “The new building is going to be a preschool through grade 5. Currently, it’s Kindergarten through grade 4. We have preschool in the high school building right now. They’ll be moving over to the new elementary, and then we have our fifth graders that are in our middle school building, and they will also be moving over to the elementary,” he said.