Boardman Schools, water district announce new park plans to help local flooding

Local News

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman Schools and the ABC Water District Tuesday afternoon jointly announced the creation of what will be known as the Forest Lawn Stormwater Park.

It will replace closed Market Street School, and it’s primary purpose will be flood control.

First, the Boardman School Board voted to transfer ownership of the Market Street School property. That was followed by the ABC Water District accepting the transfer.

“This is the future site where Market Street Elementary School is. It’s the Forest Lawn Stormwater Park,” said Jason Loree, Boardman member of ABC Water District.

Loree was instrumental in creating the Stormwater Park, which will be owned and operated by the ABC Water District.

The Boardman schools, however, will maintain ownership of the most valuable parcels closest to Market Street. The school will be demolished later this year and replaced by a meandering creek surrounded by wetlands.

It will alleviate the flooding to 1,400 nearby homes.

“By opening up the stream and creating a flood plain, we’re going to exponentially hold back the stormwater flow as these heavy rains come in, stopping the flooding that hits up and down stream throughout the system,” Loree said.

There were drawings of what the park will look like: the meandering creek surrounded by trees, a paved path, three times around a mile, and the large brick stack in the upper left corner.

It’s hoped the chimney from Market Street School can be saved.

“Oh, I think it’s very important to see our community addressing and carrying out steps to address flooding,” said Josh Boyle who lives on North Cadillac, about a mile from the park. “Having this within walking, biking distance of me and my brother’s family, I think it’s going to be stupendous.”

Looking ahead, Loree also has plans for the front parcels closest to the street.

“We’d really like to see some sort of structure with a building there and maybe a nature center, but that would have to be something down the road,” Loree said.

It will cost three million dollars to build — $500,000 is coming from the state The rest is coming from a 20-year low interest EPA loan.

The utility fee being paid by Boardman residents will be used to repay the loan.

Construction will begin soon and should be done sometime in 2023.

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