Flooding in Boardman has been an ongoing issue for decades, and now, some solutions are starting to take place, at least for the homes and businesses around Market Street and Southern Blvd, also known as the Forest Park neighborhood.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, Oct. 18, approved the final permit with the ABC Water and Stormwater District that will allow the Market Street Elementary School, which closed in 2019, to be demolished and to convert the parcel of property into a flood retention area to help alleviate flooding issues in Boardman.

According to Boardman Township Trustee Jason Loree, the contracts have been awarded for demolition, asbestos abatement of the building, and for site work.

The permits allows for the 9.5 acre parcel to be converted into what will be called the Forest Lawn Stormwater Park, with the ABC Water District and Boardman Township working to reduce local flooding and stream erosion in the Cranberry Run watershed.

When the park was announced in September of 2021, it was stated that the park would be able to hold about 4 million gallons of water, and would have walking trails.

The demolition and site work for the project was awarded to Gary Moeralli Excavating Inc. of Poland Ohio, with a cost of $147,700 for the demolition and $137,00 for site improvement. The asbestos abatement was awarded to the Howland Company of Boardman Ohio, with a total cost of $197,715.00.

The park will be owned and operated by the ABC Water District.

The project is estimated to cost around $3 million, with $500,000 coming from state capital budget, and the rest of the funding from a 20-year low-interest EPA loan.