BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — The Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District is set to open a new, state-of-the-art elementary school when students return to the classroom this fall.
In May 2018, district voters approved a 2.2-mill bond issue that will pay for the new school that replaces Central, Chippewa, Highland, and Hilton elementary schools. More than 1,500 students from pre-k through fifth grade will now call the new school home.
The new elementary school features high-end technology including a robotics lab, 3-d printers, and an E-Sports program. It also includes a slide, two playgrounds, a Ninja Warrior course, a selfie wall, a Lite Brite wall, and a Lego wall.
“A lot of the new builds that we have seen in recent years look like they built a high school and then put a bunch of little people in it. And we did not want that feeling for our kids,” said superintendent Joelle Magyar. “We've added a lot of fun, unique things that are also educational. It was very important to me that we not only address the physical needs of kids but also the mental health.”
The district also made school security a top priority during the design and buildout of the new school, so there are plenty of features focused on student safety.
“First and foremost, when you walk in our building, it's going to take you three doors to enter before you're going to get to where any of our kids are,” Magyar said. “There is ballistic film on all of our entry doors that we spared no expense on that as well.”
District officials performed an assessment of its current facilities three years ago and determined to renovate the existing schools would cost over $100 million. As an alternative, they opted to construct new schools thither than renovate them.
Construction began in July 2020 and despite supply-chain issues and material shortages, the project is on schedule and under budget. The building will serve as a hub of activity not just for the students, but for the entire community.
“All of our buildings are open to rental for our community. It's also a great community space where a community group can use this space to hold an event if they choose to do so as well,” Magyar said.
Classes begin on September 6, which Is a later start date than students may be accustomed to.
Traditionally, classes start in August, but school officials wanted to ensure construction crews had enough time to finish the building. School officials plan to return to an August start date next year.
The district recently wrapped up tours of the new facility, showcasing the new school to roughly 1,000 residents who have wanted to scope things out. Next week they will show it off to families with kids who will be in the building in the fall.
If you still want a sneak peek and missed out, you can contact the superintendent’s office to organize a time for a tour.