RIDGID® Products Make a Difference During Elyria City Schools Building Project

Elyria School

For decades the Elyria City School District (ECSD) 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 their more than 4,000 Pre-K to 8th grade students – and, 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,” said John Ruese, vice president and general manager, press connection, RIDGID for Emerson.

“The impact on the community will be very positive and dramatic for many years to come,” said 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 ECSD and its students for years is truly gratifying.”

The five new schools, on target to be completed by the end of 2021, is just one more way RIDGID and the ECSD 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 (STEM) 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 their teams work efficiently without the need for fire watch. Less equipment on the job site also helps reduce their 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,” said Nick Diederich, vice president, 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 primarily for their jobs, 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 iconic RIDGID 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,” said 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 ECSD, 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,” said 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,” said Amy Higgins, communications director, Elyria Schools. “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.”


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