Meijer Is Still Coming to Austintown, Trustees Say

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Austintown Township trustee, Jim Davis, wanted to “dispel some rumors” by stating that Meijer is still coming to Austintown.

The 195,000-square-foot Meijer store is to open in 2021 along Mahoning Avenue at the site of the former Austintown Middle School, and it will be Meijer’s new prototype, Davis said. He discussed the project at Good Morning, Austintown! on Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, hosted by the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

“Competition drives prices down, so you’re going to see some great competitive pricing with area supermarkets, but Meijer offers everything from eggs to milk to lumber,” Davis said. “We’re excited to see it happen.”

The Austintown Local School Board agreed to sell the former school building, 5800 Mahoning Ave., to the Meijer chain for $2.6 million in 2016. There will be a traffic light where the old library was and the intersection at state Route 46 and Mahoning Avenue will be upgraded, said Darren Crivelli, Austintown zoning inspector.

“The community here wants it,” he said. “We get a lot of calls from people concerned that they’re going to bypass us, but [Meijer] hasn’t given us any indication that they’re having second thoughts.”

At Good Morning, Austintown!, township trustee, Jim Davis, affirmed that Meijer is still coming.

Hard work and determination makes up a good school district, said Dave Cappuzzello, superintendent of Austintown Local Schools. Out of the 54 surrounding schools, only 16 of them attained a B, including Austintown Schools, he said.

The staff at Austintown Schools take pride in community involvement with veterans and senior citizens, Cappuzzello said. Two years ago, Austintown Schools received the Purple Star Award from the Ohio Department of Education because of the interaction between staff members and local veterans, he said.

Every year, Cappuzzello meets with staff at Austintown Fitch High School to go over courses offered to students, what’s needed and what’s outdated, he said. High school courses being considered include finance, a course on drones and sign language, he said.

“We have a commitment to our families and to our community to work hard,” Cappuzzello said. “We plan to deliver that every day.”

Todd Shaffer, park supervisor for the Austintown Township Parks Department provided updates on new additions to the park, including four courts for pickleball, which includes elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis, he said. The courts are mainly used by senior citizens, he noted.

“We have something for every age group at the park,” Shaffer said, citing its fishing pond, baseball and softball fields, dog parks, concert events and its farmer’s market.

In 2017, the park installed an 18-hole disc golf course, which already has four tournaments scheduled this year, he added.

Over at the Austintown Senior Center, people are getting bolder and not older, said Director Jim Henshaw. In 2011, the community passed a tax levy that started the center, he said. As a result of that, the center has increased its membership to 2,700, up from 400, he said.

The center at 112 Westchester Drive offers more than 100 classes to seniors, which include fencing, skydiving, wood carving, ballroom dancing and wine-making, Henshaw said. This year, some of the seniors are entering their wine into the International Amateur Wine Competition, sponsored by WineMaker Magazine, he said.

“Seniors are sometimes ignored,” he said. “They need a place to socialize and we’re a social club. They come there, they talk, they play cards, they play Bingo. They do things that help them socialize and become active members of the community.”

Pictured above: Plans for the forthcoming Meijer store were displayed at the Good Morning, Austintown! event Friday morning.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.