RIDGID Makes Impact on Large School District Project in Hometown

Contractors in Elyria, Ohio, are making use of tools from their local manufacturer RIDGID to help a $120 million schools project stay on schedule

RIDGID Makes Impact on Large School District Project in Hometown

RIDGID has been a longtime supporter of building projects for its local school district in Elyria, Ohio.

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For decades the Elyria City School District and Emerson’s RIDGID headquarters have called a small corner of northeast Ohio home. Now RIDGID employees are excitedly watching as the school district constructs five new schools for its more than 4,000 students in pre-K to eighth grade. Several of the tradespeople working on the project are using RIDGID tools to get the job done. In fact, RIDGID tools have been used extensively to help keep construction of the $120 million project on schedule and help contractors maximize their productivity on the job site.

“It’s always a thrill to hear how RIDGID tools are being used to build and maintain infrastructure across the country, but it’s even more exciting when the project is in our hometown and so positively benefits Elyria students,” says John Ruese, vice president and general manager of press connection for RIDGID.

“The impact on the community will be very positive and dramatic for many years to come,” says Jim Backs, Elyria City School District board member and former RIDGID employee. “To be able to share the benefits of this project with a major, local manufacturer and employer that has supported the school district and its students for years is truly gratifying.” 

The five new schools, on target to be completed by the end of 2021, are another way RIDGID and the Elyria City School District have collaborated to benefit students and the community. Over the years, RIDGID has sponsored many key projects within the district, including a technology lab, new computer equipment for students, and the district’s Maker Space — a learning area dedicated to fostering science, technology, engineering and math education. These initiatives, as well as many others, are an extension of RIDGID’s ongoing commitment to education and fostering the skills of the next generation.

The Role of Press Technology

Wilkes Plumbing & Heating from Huron, Ohio, has been installing pipe in the new schools solely using RIDGID press technology. Pressing has helped the Wilkes teams work efficiently without the need for fire watch. Less equipment on the job site also helps reduce overall labor costs.

“RIDGID press tools are user-friendly for our crew and have saved us a tremendous amount of time on the school projects,” says Nick Diederich, vice president of Wilkes Plumbing & Heating. “They’ve allowed us to be efficient — particularly in times like these when timelines get condensed.” 

Wilkes is a big proponent of using pressing, citing the technology’s ability to create watertight seals while reducing labor costs, equipment load and time on the job. Wilkes has also relied on other RIDGID products for this project, including pipe stands, tubing cutters and pipe wrenches.

Construction timelines for each school have been tight. Having contractors do quality work the fastest way possible has been vital in keeping the buildings on track.  

“I believe the single largest benefit RIDGID press technology has brought to the district's major construction project is speed,” says Backs. “Joining of copper tubing is accomplished in a few seconds, a small fraction of the time required for conventional soldering.” 

The district has also leveraged RIDGID products before for previous construction purposes. Recently, contractors used RIDGIDConnect and camera systems to diagnose a significant drainage issue throughout the school’s parking lots. 

“It makes me proud to see these local products used on a project that will have an impact on our students for years to come. RIDGID tools are designed and manufactured around the corner from the school district, and that means something to our community. Elyria is our home and we are doing world-class things — in both our business community and in the learning facilities we offer our students,” says Backs. 

“RIDGID invests in its hometown of Elyria and in the children who grow up here. The company has staunchly supported Elyria schools for decades, not only in bettering the learning environments for its students but in equipping students with tools they need to be successful in school and in careers,” says Amy Higgins, communications director of the Elyria City School District. “It’s exciting for us to walk the job sites of our new schools and see the RIDGID brand on the tools in use to build these modern, beautiful facilities. We’re proud of our partnership with RIDGID and of the new structures their products have helped build.” 

To learn more about the project or RIDGID press tools, visit Elyria’s school YouTube channel or RIDGID.com


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