Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 6-18-12
JUNE 18, 2012
- Facilities planning
- The overall plan
- Bond issue
All board members were present.
The overall plan
Steve Shergalis, director of business services, reviewed facilities Plan C. At Heights High, the plan calls for the preservation and renovation of the building’s historic core and the addition of new space. The three middle school buildings would house grades four through eight. At Monticello and Roxboro middle schools, the historic cores would be preserved, renovated, and new space added. Wiley would be renovated. Oxford, Canterbury, Boulevard and Roxboro elementary schools would become pre-kindergarten through grade three schools. Oxford, Canterbury and Roxboro elementary schools would be completely renovated, while Boulevard would be torn down and rebuilt. The community’s desire for preservation was considered, along with providing modern acoustics, airflow, and improved movement of people. The high school work would be done first, followed by the grades four through eight schools, and finally the pre-kindergarten through grade three schools, which would be completed by 2022. The plan calls for the closing and repurposing of Fairfax, Noble, and Gearity elementary schools. The plan includes no work at Coventry, Millikin, the Delisle Center, or the Board of Education building.
The cost of the entire plan would be $206.2 million with a 6 percent contingency built in. A 5.9 mill 37-year bond issue, which would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $15.50 per month, would raise $137.2 million. Alternative funding options would be pursued to reach $206.2 million. The options include $1 million from the district’s permanent improvement fund; a projected $6 million from private foundations; a projected $10 million from private donations; a projected $2 million from the district’s Career Tech partners; a projected $20 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission; and a projected $30 million from a COPS loan, the debt service of which would be paid out of the district’s general fund and permanent improvement fund. The privately donated funds would be used for renovations to the high school stadium, auditorium and natatorium. There are already potential donors for the stadium renovations, including the track, fields and grandstands. Once the plan is complete, the district will save about $3.5 million a year in operating costs, mostly through decreased utility use and decreased administrative and support staff. Demands on the permanent improvement fund will also decrease significantly because of the decreased square footage and the all-new systems. The renovated parts should last as long as the new construction.
If some of the funding options do not come through, the six Learning Communities at each pre-kindergarten through grade three building could be pulled from the plan. Some of the originally proposed enhancements to the high school auditorium have already been removed, and the projected cost of housing students in “swing space” during construction has been reduced from $15 million to $11.3 million. As other cost-cutting opportunities arise, they will be taken advantage of.
Pilot Learning Communities at Oxford Elementary and Roxboro Middle schools are being constructed this summer so the district can test this model and incorporate changes. The design builds in flexibility and will enable the district to adapt to changes over time.
For a bond issue to appear on the November general election ballot, the board must vote to approve submissions to the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio School Facilities Commission at its July 3 regular meeting. At the July 17 work session, it must approve the ballot language and submit it to the County Board of Elections by July 31.
LWV observer: Nancy Dietrich.
These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse, and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.
These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters Cuyahoga Area. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports.
League of Women Voters
Observer Corps editor for the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters, Cuyahoga Area