Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Elyria 66°

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Elyria company donates $40,000 for Ely Stadium improvements

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    Pioneer fans brave the rain this season to watch a game at the new Ely Stadium.



ELYRIA – Elyria City Schools have received a $40,000 donation from Ridge Tool Co., a longtime supporter of the district, toward further improvements to Mercy Health Field at Ely Stadium.

Elyria City Schools spokesperson Amy Higgins said the company’s donation was directed toward the stadium project, but its use was not specified. It is up to the Elyria School Board to determine just how to use it, she said.

“Ridge Tool has been a fantastic supported of Elyria City Schools for many, many years. They were a great sponsor when we built the new high school, and donated $200,000 at the time to set up a technology lab in the media center, which still operates today,” she said.

That project “wouldn’t have been possible without the donation from Ridge Tool, and here they are again stepping up,” Higgins added.

Ridge Tool Co., on Clark Street, makes tools under the RIDGID brand name for the construction trades, including plumbing, electrical work and HVAC. Ridge Tool Co. President Fred Pond was traveling this week and was not immediately available for comment, an employee said.

Higgins said the school board intends to do some improvements to a plaza area for guests at the stadium, “so that may be a part of what happens with that donation,” though specifics on how to allocate the funds are not yet on the board’s agenda, she said.

Pond, an alumnus of Elyria schools, was an athlete and “instrumental in our stadium complex planning committee,” Higgins said, “so he had input into what the community would like to see in that complex.”

Donations by Ridge Tool also have contributed to improving students’ access to technology, she said.

“Ridge just gives back to the community. It’s one of our prime corporations in town, and a lot of their employees are Elyria graduates, with a long history of supporting the community in general,” Higgins said. “We’re lucky to have them here,”

Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.

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