The 25-member Cleveland Heights-University Heights lay facilities committee appointed a chairperson and determined its goals at its first meeting Wednesday night at Cleveland Heights High School.
The group appointed Patrick Mullen, executive director of Reaching Heights, to chair the committee created by the CH-UH School Board to examine the facilities master plan and determine what aspects of the plan the community would support.
"We got to a point where the board decided if they put (the facilities master plan bond issue) on the ballot this year, it probably wouldn’t have passed," Mullen said. "Broadly, our task is to come up with recommendations on a plan that is instructionally sound and fiscally responsible and can enjoy broad community support."
The committee will meet about every three weeks from now until early May, Mullen said. In order to get a bond issue to pay for a portion of the plan on the November 2013 ballot, the school board must review and approve legislation in July.
The committee will schedule about 11 meetings, and the next is set for Oct. 24.
"We'll be meeting in the schools around the district so we can see what we're talking about," Mullen said. The group's first meeting was in the newly renovated Legacy New Tech small school, part of the facilities master plan pilot program. The time and location of the next meeting will be announced soon.
The committee will also launch a website to help keep residents and parents informed. It will include meeting minutes, an audio recording of the first meeting and most likely video recordings of future meetings.
Before the lay facilities committee met, the CH-UH board discussed what the charge of the committee should be at its regular meeting Tuesday. Mullen boiled down the debate for the committee into these goals and tasks:
- Confirm need for master facilities plan.
- Identify key community values that should drive the process.
- Determine what the community will embrace and support regarding:
- Which buildings are kept open or are closed.
- What is an acceptable price tag for the project, which will drive millage of a bond issue?
- What mix of funding sources will pay for the project?
- What is the best timeline and sequence of any phasing of the project?