Closing Wiley Middle School would save Cleveland Heights-University Heights an estimated $17 million on facilities restructure costs, the Lay Facilities Committee learned Wednesday.
The cost of the scenarios the committee requested is estimated to be between $255 and $279 million dollars, according to information presented at Wednesday’s Lay Facilities Committee meeting.
These estimates include all the improvements the committee would like to see, though the final version will likely be scaled down and cheaper.
The committee, created by the CH-UH School Board at the recommendation of FutureHeights and Reaching Heights, is tasked with examining the facilities master plan and determining what aspects of the plan the community would support.
The district is expected to ask voters for a bond issue in November to fund the restructure.
In January, the committee presented six scenarios to reconfigure the district by closing some schools and using only the property that the district already owns — and cut the number of open schools in the disctrict from 11 to seven or eight. Last month they asked for pricing on two versions of one of those scenarios.
The committee also asked for the cost of keeping all seven of the district's elementary schools open — not because it's a probable scenario, but to provide the committee context for the other two scenarios.
The committee will likely recommend some variation on the options presented by the consultants Wednesday, but the numbers give some perspective about what each aspect of the plan could cost.
For $260 million, the district could:
- Rebuild Boulevard
- Close Fairfax, Noble, and Wiley
- Renovate the four remaining elementary schools and the high school
- Have the square footage for 20 percent growth
- Install geothermal HVAC at each building
It would cost $279 to use the same plan, but leave Wiley open and close Gearity.
But the scenario that kept all seven elementary schools open — $278 million — is difficult to compare to those above: it did not include the same renovations on the schools — it only renovated each building enough to keep them open — and did not take into account the estimated $60 million in labor costs over the 30-year bond issue to staff the two extra schools.
In addition to the scenarios the committee requested, the consultants presented a third plan with an alternate version of the high school renovation that would save the district about $5 million.
The committee will meet again April 30 and possibly once before that to continue evaluating these options.