By Susan Tebben
In Lloyd Elementary’s nearly 60 years, children in Austintown went from students to parents to teachers and administrators, watching the school and its history grow with them.
“The students have changed and new state guidelines are in place for education, but the building has stayed the same,” said Clarice Marshall, who taught third grade in the school for 23 years.
The process of bringing the elementary into existence started in 1951, when a bond levy was introduced to build the school in its current location.
The land had once been part of 800 acres from Mahoning Avenue to the Lloyd Packing House. Armour Lloyd had taken over the business, between Interstate 80 and Webb Road.
He and his brother, Kenneth, donated the land for Lloyd Elementary in the early 1950s, according to information gathered by Joyce Pogany, president of the Austintown Historical Society.
Armour Lloyd took over Lloyd Packing from his father, Richard Lloyd Jr., who had served on the Austintown Board of Education.
Under the first principal, R. Walton Shively, the school housed 447 students when it opened with first through sixth grades.
Later, after the school had changed to kindergarten through fourth grades, an eight-room addition was added.
Lloyd is the second-oldest school in the district; Woodside Elementary was built in 1946.
Lynn Kirk Elementary, Watson Elementary and Frank Ohl Middle schools were then built, and by 1965, the district’s enrollment was up to 6,300, according to the historical society. In the 1940s, the student population had been 1,215.
Lloyd and the rest of the elementaries, along with Frank Ohl, will be demolished to make room for a unified central campus. The Ohio School Facilities Commission is paying $27 million of the $50 million building project.
Because of the OSFC assistance, some of the funds were earmarked for demolition or abatement of the buildings.
The district passed a 2.9-mill bond issue in May to raise the $23 million more it needed.
Lloyd Elementary was a positive influence on students, many of whom went on to teaching and school administration professions.
“I remember it being new, and the atmosphere being accommodating and positive,” said Dave Schnurrenberger, current board of education president. He started school there and saw his children go through the school from 1983 to 1991.
Teachers Marshall and Pam Percy, who has been at the school for 15 years, started their own traditions when they came to the school — most memorably the famous Ohioan projects they assigned to students for 12 years.
“They would take on the persona of that person,” Marshall said. “It was just another tradition we brought here and liked to do. We’re sorry to see it go.”
But the traditions will be remembered long after the school is gone, according to Superintendent Vince Colaluca.
The principals are talking about taking bronze dedication plates from Lloyd and bringing them to the new, consolidated elementary school.
“We made it a point to name the roads around the new buildings after the old schools, so Lloyd Drive is already there,” Colaluca said.