.

CH-UH Facilities Master Plan Receives Praise, Criticism

More than 300 people gathered Wednesday night to hear more about the district’s plans to renovate the school district and provide feedback.

This is one of three articles covering the CH-UH Facilities Master Plan Community Meeting April 18.

More than 300 people gathered in the Social Room Wednesday night to hear more about , the final idea of the three facilities master plans that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District has proposed.

Architects working on the master plan presented details about the renovations, which envision dramatic changes to the layout of school buildings, creating much larger classrooms divided by glass partitions and garage-door style doorways to create a variety of large and small group spaces, converting hallways and other unused corners into learning centers and more.

In addition, the buildings' grade configuration would change — pre-kindergarten through third grade in four primary buildings, fourth through eighth grade in three middle school buildings and ninth through 12th grade at Heights High.

The third plan presented by the district and architects to address its aging buildings would carry a $189 million price tag. Earlier plans, which would have closed many more schools, would have cost upwards of $200 million. The plan is estimated to save $3.5 million each year in operational costs and do more than put a band-aid on the more than $40 million in repairs needed in the antiquated spaces.

Dave Tabor, who served on the , which studied the district's buildings for months and determined a best course of action, compared the needs of the schools to the condition of South Taylor Road.

"It's something you can no longer patch," he said.

The third design idea was created in response to community feedback — it keeps the pool and football field at the school, preserves the 1920s architecture, demolishes newer additions like the science wing added to Cleveland Heights High School and does not include pre-kindergarten through eighth grade schools.

Some parents loved the plans.

“I want my kids to be in a building that’s uplifting and fun and meets the needs of a 21st century education — that’s what’s most important to me,” said Lindy Burt, PTA president of Noble Elementary School, which is slated to close.

Others had mixed feelings.

“No one has explained the term of the bond,” said Elise Hagesfeld, a Cleveland Heights resident. “It’s a lot, it’s very ambitious and bold, which is what I like about the plan. But the money issue is what I’m concerned about.”

Superintendent Douglas Heuer addressed other primary concerns of many at the meeting — shuttering schools, re-purposing buildings and paying for the plans.

Click the following links for more:

Come back to Cleveland Heights Patch next week for highlights from Monday's meeting where the CH-UH School Board will discuss bonds and other ways the district can pay for the facilities master plan. The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at

Visit our topic page about the CH-UH Facilities Master Plan to see all related articles.

Share your thoughts about the facilities master plan below.

Barbara Sabo April 22, 2012 at 07:16 PM
This need seems to come from out of the blue. Our elem. schools are full and it seems we are closing some to move kids up to the MS (which are not full) to address parents' concerns post elem school time - need to address why parents abandon the district at MS age. Putting 4-8 in same bldg, even separated is crazy. As is the return to learning centers. Kids need the closed classrooms. They have enough distractions. And what about the busing? I think people will be less likely to vote for levies if they lose their neighborhood schools. It seems like a bad, faddish idea and I am waiting to hear something to convince me otherwise. This could be the first time in over 40 years as a CH resident that I do not support a school issue. I feel horrible about that.
Interested Citizen April 23, 2012 at 02:21 AM
“I want my kids to be in a building that’s uplifting and fun and meets the needs of a 21st century education — that’s what’s most important to me,” Me too, but I don't want to sacrifice my city to do it. Everyone would like an uplifting/ fun building. I'd like an uplifting/ fun work environment too. But will the $189 million 38 year bond on top of the levy that just passed ensure increased achievement? Or is there a middle of the road answer? One that doesn't mortgage the future but takes care of the major issues. The example during the April 18th meeting was Warren City Schools who just rebuilt every building in their district (schools opened between 2007-2010). They are now looking to expand space (enrollment projections weren't accurate). Achievement/home values have not improvedl! There are so many factors besides buildings. “No one has explained the term of the bond,” said a CH resident. “It’s a lot, it’s very ambitious and bold, which is what I like about the plan. But the money issue is what I’m concerned about.” So am I .. also concerned that the district/board aren't considering the fact that Idea C removes the only public school option for elementary students in the city of University Heights. That will decrease home values and the attractiveness of our city to potential home buyers. A questionable financial move for the entire district.. it could be disastrous for the city of University Heights.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »