Well, back in 1904, it was a much more simplified process.
At left is an article that appeared in the May 10, 1904 Lorain Daily News announcing that N. B. Stauder, a local contractor, would build three new brick school buildings. (Click on it so you can read it.)
His total bid for the construction of the three buildings was $56,490.
The schools included the Harrison and Brownell buildings.
An architect's rendering of how all three schools were going to look appeared with the article.
Harrison got the green light first, as the following small article appeared about a week later in the paper.
Stauder must have done a good job, as the Harrison building still stands today – although it is now doing duty as the Harrison Cultural Community Centre. It's still a great-looking building – and the oldest standing school building in Lorain.