A giant chunk of change — $559,800 — has been set aside to pay for renovations to the south lobby of Amherst Steele High School.
The board of education has hired Sona Construction of Cleveland to revamp the area outside the Comets’ main gymnasium. Work will be done this summer.
“This is a project we’ve been wanting to do and planning to do for quite some time,” said district superintendent Steven Sayers. Discussions have gone back three years.
Educators envision a complete overhaul to the entrance, nearby restrooms, and concession stand used by booster clubs.
Bathrooms are a top priority for the superintendent. He said some parents and athletic event spectators have complained to him that the facilities are “atrocious” and he tends to agree.
The plan also calls for an awkward ramp and stairway to be re-engineered to improve traffic flow. “There are certain times during the school day where there is a lot of traffic in that area, and it causes problems,” Sayers said.
Brighter, more cost-effective LED lighting will be installed, and a wall with built-in video screens will be built to display announcements, student art, and Comets-related items.
A skylight over the entrance, as well as a ticketing kiosk for sports events, were both stripped from earlier drafts of the plans created by Clark & Post Architects of Lorain.
“The theory is to create a much more welcoming, functional space as you enter the school,” Sayers said. “That’s an area where we get a lot of, obviously, students during the school day. But a lot of community folks use that space for basketball games, wrestling, concerts, and what have you.”
Sayers said it’s likely that more visitors to the school use the south lobby entrance than the main doors.
Construction is expected to stretch from June 3 to Aug. 5.
In discussion Feb. 29, board of education members said Sona was one of only two bidders for the project. Despite being contacted by Clark & Post, no local bidders chose to vie for the job.
The Sona contract was approved in a 5-0 decision.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times School board member Bob Kamnikar asks questions regarding plans for a major renovation project planned for the south lobby of Steele High School. Superintendent Steven Sayers listens.
Courtesy images This rendering shows how the concession area of the soon-to-be renovated south lobby at Steele High School would look.