Warren schools get renderings of wellness center

WARREN — Warren schools officials will seek bids for site plans on a $15 million recreation / wellness center as board members Tuesday saw renderings of what the complex will look like.

Kim Phillips, president of Phillips Sekanick Architects of Warren, made a presentation to the board of education during Tuesday’s regular meeting, showing drawings and images.

The planned 128,000-square-foot complex will have two floors, Phillips said, and be located east of Warren G. Harding High School, connected with accesses to and from the high school and Mollenkopf Stadium.

The district is looking to break ground early this summer and hopes to complete most of the project by August 2023.

“This will not only provide recreation and wellness but also educational opportunities for the students,” Phillips said, indicating the center will have areas for robotics programs and esports.

The main floor will include an indoor walking track, locker rooms, fitness rooms and a health clinic, with the second floor set aside for meetings rooms and other student activity programs.

John Lacy, director of business operations, said the center will provide the students “with the opportunity to not only experience sports, but other extracurricular activities they may not otherwise have the opportunity to be part of.”

Various coaches, band directors, robotics program advisers, and esports instructor within the district have all been contacted for their input.

The board approved construction documents for the project at $2.96 million bidding for various aspects of the site work.

DeSalvo Construction of Hubbard is the construction manager.

Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education gave approval of Warren City Schools’ American Rescue Plan ESSER Round 3 grant application, which includes a budget of $12.5 million for the new center.

School officials have said the remaining costs for the project already have been put aside in capital improvements, and the project calls for no additional cost to taxpayers.

Board member Patricia Limperos has said the construction of the wellness center is “an exciting time for our Warren City Schools families.”

Board member Regina Patterson said when she was driving to the meeting, she saw all that the school campus currently has and how the center will offer even more for the students to experience.

“I see nothing but positives with us having this,” Patterson said.

Lacy said the Raider Pride Park is nearing completion with plans to be discussed for a groundbreaking. He said concrete work and sidewalks are being done and plans are to install pavers in the form of the old Warren Western Reserve High School.

Lacy said final phase of steps and doorways also is being done at the Harding High School facade porch remediation, with the main porch and new drainage completed.

“Both projects are moving along quickly,” he said.

In other business, the board was informed of an agreement with Akron Children’s Hospital to provide a school-based health center with increased nursing services for Warren schools.

Allison Lantz, a nurse practitioner, said a staff of four within the various school buildings will provide services such as immunizations and sports physicals. Plans are to begin in August for one year.

“This will provide additional access for care for students,” Lantz said with services billed through insurance.

Warren Superintendent Steve Chiaro said costs for the services will be covered through a $10 million state grant for more than 25 school districts. The grant was provided based on student needs.


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