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CH-UH School Board Establishes Guidelines For Lay Facilities Committee

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board discussed what the charge of the lay facilities committee should be at its regular meeting Tuesday in anticipation for the committee's first meeting today, Oct. 3.

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights School Board announced the members of the lay facilities committee and established guidelines for group at the board's regular meeting Tuesday night.

School board members debated what the charge of the committee should be, which board members would serve as liaisons, how often members would meet and what their deadline should be, among other topics.

The 25-member committee (two members will rotate), comprised of city officials from district communities, teachers, parents, PTA representatives and more, has its first meeting at 7 p.m. today in the newly renovated Legacy New Tech space.

Though the charge and requests could be clarified or revised before this evening, this is some of what the school board discussed and what they would like the committee to accomplish within 10 to 12 meetings:

  • Appoint a chairperson, who will lead meetings and handle housekeeping tasks.
  • Review Plan C, the facilities master plan approved by the board 3-2 in July. Revisit work completed by the administration and architects hired by the district.
  • Review the list of important values, compiled from the community's suggestions, and attempt to determine the most important or "non-negotiables."
  • Community outreach: Determine the bond and budget range, building configuration and timeline (which buildings should be renovated first) that the community would support. Suggest ways information about the plans and the committee's work could be shared with the community to reach the most people.
  • Provide the board with a few options of plans the community would support.
  • Answer the question why CH-UH needs to renovate the buildings in this particular way — how it would benefit students academically.
  • Look at schedules of the Cleveland Heights, University Heights, South Euclid city councils, committee members' calendars and other community events and plan future meeting dates and locations. 

For more background on the facilities master plan, visit our topic page.

Board member Kal Zucker also suggested that the committee have flexibility to establish its own charge and focus, in addition to working on the list of what the board wants the committee to accomplish.

Zucker and School Board President Karen Jones will serve as the board liaisons, though any member can attend a meeting. They will be there to provide input when necessary but will not serve as active leaders or facilitators, though they may help start the first meeting.

The board would like the committee to finalize its report four to six weeks before the first meeting in July 2013, when the board will need to start approving legislation to get a bond issue on the Nov. 2013 ballot.

Members of the lay facilities committee

Patrick Mullen, executive director of Reaching Heights

Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights

Dennis Wilcox, Cleveland Heights City Council, Vice Mayor

Pam Cameron, University Heights City Council member

Phil Ertel, University Heights City Council member (will rotate with Cameron)

Nancy Levin, director of the Heights Libraries

Eric Silverman, president of the Heights High alumni foundation, former school board member

Brian Schaner, Cleveland Heights Teachers Union vice president

Jane Goodman, South Euclid City Council member

Carla Bailey, CH-UH PTA Council

Jodi Sourini, Gearity Professional Development School PTA

Heather Conwell, Oxford Elementary School PTA

Dallas Schubert, on former facilities committee

Jim Posch, on former facilities committee

John Hubbard, Reaching Heights Board of Directors member

Natoya Walker

Sam Bell, owner, The Lusty Wrench

Cheryl Oates

Krissy Dietrich Gallagher, Fairfax PTA vice president

Dave Tabor, on former facilities committee

Richard Wong, Cleveland Heights planning and development director

Susan Fleischer, co-owner, The Wine Spot 

Donna Guilmette, Reaching Heights Many Villages coordinator for Canterbury School

Alvin Saafir, Reaching Heights Board of Directors member

Betsey Bell, Reaching Heights Board of Directors member

James Cull, Cleveland Heights Planning Commission

Garry Kanter October 04, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Amen, Brother or Sister!
John H. October 04, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I think a SE representative is probably a good idea. A section of the city is in the school system, so they should be represented. But this committee does include people previously critical of the District's plans. I do believe I remember Eric Silverman speaking out against Plan C. Jodi Sourini, was critical of the closing of Gearity, I believe, so the contingent of UH residents who are upset with the closing of Gearity will have a voice. As far as a voice to fight against the tax increase......that's unlikely. Cleveland Heights & University Heights have always sat on that fence between Shaker Heights (high-taxes, high-end) and East Cleveland (lower-taxes, low-end housing). And for the most part, they do it well. It's one of the benefits of CH-UH.
Sam Bell October 04, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Rest assured, I (for one) have been reading your comments. I hope you'll continue to engage in a constructive dialog both in this forum and elsewhere. Meanwhile, I think a little research *might* change your mind about some of us. For example, reading my bio at www.linkedin.com/in/lustywrench or this site http://theciviccommons.com/conversations/school-facilities-planning-true-sustainability-or-lip-service--2 might answer some of your questions and concerns. As John H points out, the current committee includes several community voices who expressed opposition and/or disappointment about the last planning effort. Give us a chance to get going. You may be pleasantly surprised for once.
Garry Kanter October 04, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Beautiful, man! I hope you are able to apply your varied skills and interests into some amazing things for this biggest-construction-project-in-CH-UH-of-our-lifetimes-by-far endeavor! The word "unleashed" comes to mind. And if we could just round up another dozen (or two) folks like you...
Sam Bell October 05, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Well, Richard, the whole idea is to avoid that "poorly thought out" description. And, with your help, I hope we can earn a better one.

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