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  Stormwater Park Will Be First Of Its Kind In Ohio  
  Demolition Of Market St. School Underway:   March 23, 2023 Edition  
      associate editor
      A stormwater park, believed to be the first of its kind in the state of Ohio, moved a step closer towards construction on Wed., Mar. 22 when the demolition of Market St. Elementary School, 5555 Market St., was begun.
      In 2019, the Boardman Local School Board closed the school that was the first ‘separate’ school building ever erected by the local, public school system. (Prior to its construction, all students in the Boardman Local Schools attended classes one building that is today Center Intermediate School).
      Market St. Elementary School opened in 1950. When it closed, Market St. Elementary School had an enrollment of 351 students, more than half of whom were deemed “economically disadvantaged” by the Ohio Department of Education.
      The closing of the school opened the door for the development of a 14.6-acre green space that will become the Forest Lawn Stormwater Park.
      Demolition work is expected to be completed within 60 days, depending on weather conditions. Bid for the demolition and site improvements was awarded by the ABC Water and Stormwater District to Gary Modarelli Excavating, of Poland Oh., at a cost of $147,000.
      Once excavation and site work is completed, the design concepts will be finalized by CT Consultants and the Davey Tree Resource Group. That portion of the project will be done with funding provided by a $300,000 grant provided by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office.
      The Forest Lawn Stormwater Park will be designed to improve drainage flows in the Cranberry Run watershed. Once completed, the park will provide improved surface water flows impacting up to 1,400 homes; and will include the creation of a passive park where people can gather and walk along a lighted sidewalk.
      During heavy rainfalls, the project will be able to hold up to the equivalent of 9-feet of water spread over the surface the size of a football field.
      In addition to the design funding, the stormwater park will be funded by a $1 million grant from Mahoning County Commissioners Anthony Traficanti, Carl Rimedio-Righetti and David Ditzler; a $2.167 million FEMA/Ohio EPA hazard mitigation grant, a $500,000 Capital Grant secured by Rep. Al Cutrona, and a $750,000 Ohio Capital Grant announced by State Rep. Cutrona and State Sen. Mike Rulli (phase 2 of the project that will include construction of an environmental center).
      In an agreement with the Boardman Local School Board, property for the stormwater park was formally transferred (donated) to the water and stormwater district in Apr., 2022.
      Township officials expect the Forest Lawn Stormwater Park will help solve a long-standing issue of flooding in the neighborhood during heavy rain events and improve water quality in the Anderson Run – Mill Creek watershed. The project involves the daylighting 700 ft. of a culverted stormwater system that runs underneath the property. The stream will be naturalized by creating a winding stream that flows through the 14-acre property. Floodplains will be created and native species planted. A walking path will be installed around the area and viewing platforms will be available to encourage watching wildlife that will be attracted to the natural area.
      PICTURED: ONCE DEMOLITION OF MARKET ST. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL is completed, a stormwater park will be created on the site. Above is an artist’s conception of the park that will be designed to help alleviate surface water flooding during peak rainfall periods. Total project cost is more than $3 million, with all funding provided through local, state and federal grant monies.
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