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Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools to break ground on new multimillion-dollar Field House project

Posted at 6:26 AM, May 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-24 09:58:08-04

STOW, Ohio — A Northeast Ohio school district is looking to invest millions of dollars into its athletics and community programs.

In the weeks ahead—Stow-Munroe Falls will break ground on a new state-of-the-art Field House.

Officials behind the project want people to know it's more than just a place for local kids to play sports.

The project aims to offer mental health resources and become a centralized community meeting space for years to come.

"This isn't just people talking words. Now, this is people taking action," Scott Campbell, Director of Operations at Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools said.

What started as a casual conversation for a future Field House is now becoming a full-scale reality in the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District.

A huge open field located steps away from the high school and a catty-corner from the football field will transform into a sprawling 25,000-square-foot Field House.

A flyover rendering shows exactly what it will look like once completed.

A large entrance, parking lot out front, and a dawg pound bulldog logo displayed on the building are all part of the master plan.

District leaders say what's inside is even better.

"We have a weight room there. We have a multifaceted, multipurpose rooms with rubberized surface, and we feel we can accommodate every one of our 28 athletic programs we have here," Campbell said.

Superintendent Tom Bratten says the need for a centralized, modern space was apparent.

It had been his priority for the last decade.

"We have over 800 athletes at the high school and another 4,500 at the middle school and when you don't have weight room facilities to train these kids, you're doing them a great disservice," Bratten said.

District officials say arguably the best part of the project is that it will offer a variety of resources for all age groups.

Bratten says the Field House starts and ends with community impact.

The doors will be open to multiple generations of users— from young children to senior citizens.

"We want Kiwanis, and Chamber, and Rotary and people like that to use this facility as well. We wanna become the hub for this city. So we're trying to make this a multifaceted project," Bratten said.

The $5.1 million project is paid for through permanent improvement funds and some leftover loans.

The final piece of the Field House is a shell on the other side of the building that could offer behavioral and mental health support and community services once the district secures a health partner.

It would be that of a family resource center for anyone to utilize.

Campbell says it's critical as the mental health crisis became even more apparent throughout the pandemic.

"We are trying to bring these agencies to our campus who don't have to go across Summit County to get these agencies. Get them right here," Campbell said.

Construction on the Field House will begin in the next couple of weeks—as students leave for summer break.

The goal is to have it completed by the spring of 2024.