CH-UH Board Aiming To Place Facilities Master Plan On November 2013 Ballot
During the special meeting at Roxboro Middle School Aug. 21, the CH-UH Board discussed the next steps and a timeline for the facilities master plan.
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board discussed the next steps of the facilities master plan for nearly three hours at a special meeting Tuesday night.
Board members agreed that the best time to place the facilities master plan, or Plan C, on the ballot is November 2013, and that they would be open to modifying the plan.
Board member Nancy Peppler at first suggested May to give the district more than one chance to pass a bond issue and other reasons.
"A whole lot of good work has been done, and I don't want this to stretch and stretch and stretch on," Peppler said.
Plan C was approved by a narrow vote of 3-2 at the July 3 Board of Education Meeting, as was a resolution to put a $130.6 million bond issue on the November 2012 ballot that would have paid for a portion of the $206.2 million plan. But the concern from residents prompted three board members to change their vote the next time around, so that instead of approving the bond issue on second reading 3-2, the board unanimously rejected it.
Board member Kal Zucker thought May was an unrealistic time frame, as it would mean the board would have to take action in January 2013.
And board member Ron Register said they needed more than three or four months to "build trust in the community."
The board also agreed that it needed to form a citizens facilities committee, as suggested by Reaching Heights and FutureHeights, to help make recommendations and suggestions as they continue to work on Plan C.
CH-UH Superintendent Doug Heuer and Business Services Director Steve Shergalis had board members write down suggestions of who should be on the committee and what their tasks should be on sticky notes. Heuer and Shergalis then organized the sticky notes on a white board so members could use them as discussion points.
Board members said city officials, community leaders, alumni, PTA representatives, parents, teachers, voters without children in the district, union members, a private school representative, members of past facilities committees, board members, the administration and more should be on the 15- to 25-person committee. The committee should be tasked with creating alternate plans, engaging the community and coming up with marketing strategies, among other tasks, they suggested.
The school board discussed the possibility of having people apply for roles on the committee, but decided against it as it would push the timeline back at least four to six weeks.
Instead, board members are going submit names of people from each of the representative groups that they think should be involved to Board president Karen Jones by Monday. She will then review the names, select those that have been repeated and appoint the rest, ensuring all groups have been represented.
At the beginning of the meeting, Shergalis and Heuer had board members again fill out sticky notes with portions of the plan they think should be reevaluated to help the administration decide "where we move from here," Heuer said.
They wrote budget, financing, community involvement, grade configuration, building placement, Gearity, historic preservation, demolition vs. renovation and more.
After discussion, they decided the first step would be to set a goal date and talk about the citizens committee.
"I think one of the cries out that we heard is that the community felt like we didn't do enough to communicate with them," Register said.
Heuer said the administration would summarize questions and discussion from the meeting and send it back to the board to again help the district decide how to move forward.
Members agreed that they would be open to modifying Plan C, but did not discuss specifics.
Visit our CH-UH Facilities Master Plan page for background and more information.