School District Opens Recreation and Wellness Center | News, Sports, Jobs

Staff Photo/Bob Coupland Warren School District and City officials gathered Tuesday for the grand opening of a $15 million wellness and recreation center to be built by Mollenkopf Stadium in Warren . Attendees include, from left, school treasurer Karen Sciortino, school board member Patricia Limperos, Mayor of Warren Doug Franklin, board chair John Fowley, and board members Jenna Daugherty and Julian Walker .

WARREN — School district and city officials met earlier this week for the grand opening of the $15 million Schools of Warren City Recreation and Wellness Center, which will be built next to the Mollenkopf stadium.

Superintendent Steve Chiaro said at Tuesday’s event that many school board members have a vision for such a center for the Warren community.

“Today we begin what will become a reality for children in the town of Warren with the grand opening of a multi-million dollar recreation and wellness center,” he said.

Mayor Doug Franklin said it was a great day for the city with the center that will be used by generations to come.

“I am so happy to see this day come. I know that our center will be among the best”, he says, noting that he remembers when officials 10 years ago looked at various wellness centers in other parts of Ohio.

The two-story, more than 120,000 square foot facility will be built between Warren G. Harding High School and Mollenkopf Stadium. The project will take two years to complete, officials said.


Chiaro said the center will provide various services and opportunities for students.

He said Harding students will have easy access to the center, while students from other schools in the city can be brought there.

“We have great plans for the center with various health-related activities. There will be an indoor walking track, a 200 meter running track, a student run bistro. The center can be used in a multitude of fields,” said Chiaro.

He said there will be esports and robotics teams will have dedicated areas of the center.

In addition to athletics, the center will also be used for healthcare and educational purposes and other extracurricular activities. Phillips Sekanick Architects of Warren produced the designs and images. Hubbard’s DeSalvo Construction is the construction manager.

The ground floor will include an indoor walking track, locker rooms, fitness rooms and a health clinic, while the second floor will be reserved for meeting rooms and other student activity programs.


Over the past few years, funds have been poured into a permanent improvement and capital improvement fund as talks begin to have such a center, Chiaro said.

Earlier this year, the Ohio Department of Education approved the U.S. bailout grant application for Warren Schools, which includes a $12.5 million budget for the new center.

Officials said the project does not result in any additional cost to taxpayers.

Chiaro said the center complements Harding’s campus, which includes the school and the football stadium.

“This campus has expanded with baseball diamonds and softball fields. This will be the all-in-one package for the kids in the town of Warren,” said Chiaro.

The dressing room is expected to be ready in 13 months for the 2023 football season, with the rest of the facility to be completed nine months later.

“It will be worth the wait. … Additional parking spaces will be provided at other campus sites as the project progresses. Even with construction, we have more parking spaces here than there are. five years old, said Chiaro.

The school board has voted to begin the bidding process for structural steel related to the recreation and wellness center.


School board chairman John Fowley said the board is very excited about what lies ahead.

“This is a project that the last five school boards have discussed. We were able to use US bailout funds for this – probably one of the first school districts in the state to use it for a bricks and mortar project. We had our plans ready to go,” he said.

John Lacy, director of business operations, said the center will provide students “With the opportunity to not only play sports, but also other extracurricular activities that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in.”

Various coaches, group directors, robotics program advisors, and esports instructor in the district were all asked for their input.

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