ELIDA — The newly built Elida Elementary School was dedicated Sunday.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Joel Mengerink, Elida schools superintendent. “I think the school district first started talking about this 15 years ago, and here we are today dedicating a building getting ready to open up with the first day of school next Tuesday.”
The ground was broken for the 138,000 square-foot building on Sept. 8, 2019. Funding for the 138,000-square foot facility was approved by Elida school district voters in May 2018. The 2.8 mill bond and a 0.50 mill levy helped defray the cost. The school district also received $18.2 million in tax credits from the State of Ohio toward the $36 million project, something that really helped cut the cost of the project.
“Had they not approved it on that first try, our cost probably would have been about 40% higher than they were, so we’re looking instead at a $36 million project instead of a $45 to$50 million project,” Mengerink said.
The old elementary building was built in 1962 and was torn down in June of this year.
“We were dealing with a building that was 60 years old. The boiler was failing. We had several classrooms that didn’t have heat. Water systems fail, and we were out of space. We had therapists working out of closets,” Mengerink said.
Garmann/Miller were the architects on the new building, while Peterson Construction Company built the school.
Elida schools treasurer Joel Parker was appreciative of the work they did on the school to keep things on budget and on track.
“The team was excellent with Peterson, Garmann/Miller. They were focused on a tight timeline but also focused on we’re on budget exactly where we want to be. We’re thrilled knowing that in today’s market, prices of construction, or the timing of delays on steel, we’re just thrilled that this project is on time, on budget. We’re so excited to bring that $18.2 million of state money to Elida,” Parker said.
Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp also addressed the audience at the dedication.
“As an original co-sponsor of the 1997 law creating the Ohio School Facilities program, I’m pleased that this district-state partnership has helped bring into reality another modern education building here at Elida,” Cupp said.
Cupp then presented to Principal Michelle Allison a flag that flew over the Ohio Statehouse.
The flag will be flown at the new elementary school.
Reach reporter Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.