Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is competing for a $200,000 National Football League grant to help pay for a new synthetic turf football field that is estimated to cost $715,000.
At , the authorized Superintendent Douglas Heuer to apply for the NFL Grassroots Program Field Surface Grant.
The grass and sod football field at is in such that only the varsity football team plays on Crawford Field on game day and only in good weather conditions. In the past three years, CH-UH has had to move its home varsity games to other high school football fields, according to school documents.
“No other teams — regardless of level of season of competition — or activities such as cheerleading, band or gym classes are permitted to use the field because it simply cannot handle the wear and tear even though we maintain the grass field diligently, rolling it twice weekly during game season,” wrote CH-UH Director of Athletics Kristin Hughes in the district’s NFL grant application.
If the school district wins the $200,000 grant from the NFL, it will be matched by raising money from other sources such as football alumni. Any remaining amount necessary to complete the project is expected to come from the district’s permanent improvement fund.
“With proper turf, the district will host other sports such as lacrosse, soccer and field hockey and other community teams and activities, providing a local venue for thousands of our youth,” Hughes wrote in the grant application. “CH-UH, in partnership with the Cleveland Browns and former Heights players in the NFL, will also be able to offer a clinic for youth from all over northeastern Ohio on proper and safe football skills and techniques. Plans will be put in place to resurface the field as soon as possible if CH-UH receives an NFL Field Surface Grant.”
In other action, the school board authorized a lease agreement with Open Office LLC, which will lease 4,000-square-feet for $2,167 a month at the .
“This is a great next step in our efforts to partner with community organizations in repurposing the former Coventry Elementary school,” said Steve Shergalis, director of business services for the CH-UH School District.
The Open Office provides short- and long-term office space for people who work from home, said owner Andrew Auten in May to discuss the reuse plans for the school.
“Open Office is a small entrepreneurial organization that supports other small (home-based) businesses that are trying to make the next step in their business plans,” Shergalis reported to the school board. “The hope is that this would serve as an incubator … and that those organizations would continue to be successful and then look to expand … in the Cleveland Heights area. They have lined up a number of organizations for their space within Coventry, and they are ready to go.”
The school board also extended its lease agreement with the for about $1,000 a month. The lease extension will remain until a new lease agreement is negotiated over the next few months, according to Shergalis.
Finally, the school board approved a lease agreement with New Life Cathedral, 16200 Euclid Ave., East Cleveland. The board agreed to lease about 1,700-squre-feet at New Life Cathedral for $700 a month. The space will be used to operate the district’s Adult Basic and Literacy Program that provides literacy and GED services.