Streetsboro roundup: Streets, schools and ‘Ben’s bench’

Jeremy Brown/The Portager

Streetsboro city leaders got the green light Monday to rehab state Route 43 between Market Square Drive/Cecil Drive and Frost Road. The cost of the project to the city is estimated at $650,939. 

The city plans to widen, resurface, and repair pavement on state Route 43; install curbs and gutters, sidewalks, curb ramps, driveways, and guardrails; improve drainage, complete main works, install signage, lay down pavement markings, and upgrade traffic signals along the stretch of 43 that lies within city limits.

ODOT will coordinate the project. No word on when work will start.

Read our original story on this and other road work in Streetsboro.

City cuts deal with Streetsboro schools for second cop

Streetsboro schools cut a deal with city leaders that resulted in a win-win for everyone, Superintendent Mike Daulbaugh said.

In return for allowing Streetsboro’s Parks and Rec Department and Senior Center to temporarily set up shop in the school district’s annex building, the schools will get a second part-time school resource officer.

The Senior Center and Parks and Rec Department are now housed in a rented space on state Route 43. The annex is located at 1951 Annalane Drive.

The new employee will be paid up to $29 per hour, and will work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays during the school district’s 190-day session while receiving no fringe benefits, city council determined. The officer will join a full time SRO who already circulates among the schools, Daulbaugh said.

Placing a resource officer in every building would be cost-prohibitive, Daulbaugh said, noting that the district does not even publicize some of the many safety measures it has in place.

“I think anytime we can have a stronger police presence on our campus, that enhances safety,” he said. “It’s really important for our kids, especially in today’s world, to have a good partnership with our police department because they need to be able to see our policemen and women as a resource, as a friend, so they can trust them.”

Covid sidelined many senior citizens the district relied on to help students and staff, but they are set to return, he added.

SROs are paid by the city. Streetsboro’s school board has yet to approve the deal, but Daulbaugh called their OK a formality.

Connected with the deal, council hired the architecture firm LevelHEADS, Inc. to design the city’s new community center that will be located in City Park. The cost of that contract is up to $200,000.

City leaders have in mind a 5,500 to 6,500 square-foot, single-story building that will have about 50 parking spaces. It will include two large event rooms, a game room, and storage for the Parks and Rec Department.

Construction is to be completed during the summer of 2023.  

New nursing home under consideration

City leaders are eyeing Biltmore Health Care’s bid to build a nursing home in the Streetsboro Commons area. The proposed site is a currently vacant 14-acre lot north and east of Singletary House, adjacent to an extension of Singletary Drive.

For the project to proceed, the city needs to issue a conditional use permit for the property, and the Planning and Zoning Commission must approve the site plan.

There would be a 100-foot buffer between the development and the Navajo Trail/Seminole Drive area to the east.

Have a rest at Thomas Heritage Park

Thomas Heritage Park, which boasts a small fishing pond and a few portable benches, is about to get its first permanent bench, thanks to a donation from Streetsboro resident Amber Ashby-Gierke.

Ashby-Gierke told Parks and Rec Director Greg Mytinger she had tried to donate the bench to Lake Milton and Craig Beach, where her late special friend Benjamin Krugh had a beach house, but was unable to do so.

The bench is adorned with the words “Ben’s Bench” and “You can find me where summer never ends.”

“He loved the summer, and he loved the water,” Ashby-Gierke said. “We would walk by the lake every morning.”

Ashby-Gierke said she takes solace in knowing that anyone in Streetsboro can enjoy sitting by the water, as she and Krugh did so often. The bench is her way of honoring Krugh, whom she refers to as her “best friend and love of her life.”

Thomas Heritage Park is located at 1050 State Route 303, west of state Route 43. The 108-acre property includes a dog park, fishing deck, fishing pond and walking paths.

Music, anyone?

Saying the equipment is no longer being used, Parks and Rec Director Greg Mytinger is donating multiple instruments to Streetsboro City Schools. The donation includes two Fender electric guitars, three Fender electric basses, four Fender acoustic guitars, two Fender classical guitars, a pair of congas, a set of bongos, a bass amp, a guitar amp, a drum kit, cymbals and hardware, and mini congas.

Also being donated is a guitar maintenance kit and cables, a xylophone with practice pad, a mic stand, and four Manhasset music stands.

The total cost of the donation is estimated at $3,705, Mytinger told council members.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.

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