October 25, 2014

Medina
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Medina Schools propose walkway between park and Northrop to solve parking problems

Medina Schools officials think they’ve found the answer to the lack of parking at Northrop Elementary. They want to build a football-field-long walkway between the school and a larger parking lot in Reagan Park.

The school, 950 East Reagan Parkway, only has about 100 parking spots. But officials said that when the school was built in 2009, plans called for eventually sharing parking with Reagan Park’s baseball facilities on the other side of the woods behind the school.

“The process was intended to link the school and park together to have a full shared-use system,” Medina Schools Business Affairs Director Jon Burkhart said. “That is part of what I think the Northrop community is looking for.”

Plans call for building a football-field-long walkway through a wooded wetland area to connect this parking lot in Medina’s Reagan Park to Northrop Elementary School. The school’s green roof can be seen through the trees. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Plans call for building a football-field-long walkway through a wooded wetland area to connect this parking lot in Medina’s Reagan Park to Northrop Elementary School. The school’s green roof can be seen through the trees. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Burkhart said Northrop needs more parking spaces.

“When we have large events that bring in families, we exceed our parking limits,” he said.

Burkhart said the Harvest Presbyterian Church has allowed its parking lot to be used for school events, but that lot is about a third of a mile away from the school.

He said plans to link to Reagan Park call for a 300-foot, 8-foot-wide wooden walkway to cut through a wooded wetland area that separates the school from the baseball field parking lot, which has 70 spots.

“You wouldn’t want to walk through that without high boots on,” he said.

Burkhart said the walkway would give Reagan Park patrons access to additional parking at the school during off hours, Burkhart said.

The project will cost an estimated $170,000 for materials. The labor will be provided by students from the Medina County Career Center, who will use the project as part of their education.

“We’ve been in discussions with the career center to do this project with their assistance,” Burkhart said. “It would provide their building trades group some experience in doing a project in a wetland area, and it’s free labor for us.”

The project was presented to the school board Monday but no vote was taken.

School Board President Tom Cahalan said the board wants more time to study the proposal.

“We decided we needed more time, more information and to get our feet on the ground on it, and understand it more and make sure that the dollars are all lined up,” he said.

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.