$340K media center project joins Steele summer construction schedule


By Jason Hawk - jhawk@civitasmedia.com



<p style="text-align: right;">Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times John Mazze of Clark & Post Architects answers questions regarding this summer’s transformation of the media center at Amherst Steele High School.

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times John Mazze of Clark & Post Architects answers questions regarding this summer’s transformation of the media center at Amherst Steele High School.


A $341,600 metamorphosis is planned this summer for the Amherst Steele High School media center.

After the final dismissal bell rings June 1, workers from Apex Construction of Bedford will be standing by. The plan is to transform the space into a high-tech collaborative learning area that’s about more than books and computers.

John Mazze of Clark & Post Architects, which designed the new space, said it’s an open design with group meeting and classroom areas.

It focuses heavily on electronic tools such as wireless Internet, video production, presentation-making software, and tablets.

While servers and other infrastructure is in place, computing devices for the new media center will be an additional cost to that approved Monday by the Amherst board of education, as will furniture, according to district superintendent Steven Sayers.

Votes on those expenditures are expected next month.

The good news, financially: The Amherst Education Foundation has given $200,000 toward the cost of the project.

Construction is expected to begin the first day of summer vacation.

That date aligns with the start of another massive renovation on the far opposite end of the school.

Earlier this month, the board approved $559,800 to pay Sona Construction of Cleveland for a huge facelift of the south lobby near the Comets’ main gymnasium.

That effort will involve big updates to very old bathrooms and work on the entrance and nearby concession stand.

Sayers pitched the overhaul as important because the south lobby is arguably used by the public more than Steele’s main doors. It’s the primary entrance-way for volleyball, basketball, wrestling, and other sporting events.

In other facilities news, Sayers told the board the Ohio School Facilities Commission still intends to offer construction money for a new Amherst school building.

An offer from the state agency is now expected in late spring or early summer.

No official vote has been made to accept that cash or move forward with construction, but school board member comments in recent months indicate they plan to do so.

A new school would likely be built on South Lake Street near Amherst Junior High. The board has heard reports in recent months on financial options for building a pre-K-to-5 facility without increasing taxes.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times John Mazze of Clark & Post Architects answers questions regarding this summer’s transformation of the media center at Amherst Steele High School.

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Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times John Mazze of Clark & Post Architects answers questions regarding this summer’s transformation of the media center at Amherst Steele High School.

By Jason Hawk

jhawk@civitasmedia.com

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