School board will discuss next steps in master facilities plan at Aug. 21 special meeting
The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education has scheduled a special work session meeting for Aug. 21, to discuss next steps in the district’s master school facilities plan. The meeting will be held at the Board of Education building at 2155 Miramar Blvd., University Heights, at 7 p.m.
On July 17, the five board members voted unanimously against placing a $130.6 million school facilities improvement bond on the ballot this November.
At the board’s Aug. 7 meeting, Douglas Heuer, district superintendent, encouraged the board to set a meeting date to discuss next steps, and “provide the administration with direction on where the board wants to go from here.”
At that meeting, board members spoke of the need to move quickly and to work with community members who have "stepped up." Eric Coble, board member, said, “Time is of the essence,” and noted that the board did not yet know if it wanted a bond issue to be on the ballot in May or in November 2013.
The board listened to statements from audience members at the start of the Aug. 7 meeting. One speaker was Patrick Mullen, executive director of Reaching Heights, a community nonprofit dedicated to promoting excellence in Heights schools. He spoke on behalf of that group as well as FutureHeights, another Heights nonprofit dedicated to promoting community engagement, and noted, “The future of our district school facilities issue is of great importance to both organizations and the community.”
Mullen commended board members and Superintendent Heuer for attending a co-meeting of Reaching Heights and FutureHeights a week prior, in which they discussed ways to move the facilities process forward.
In his remarks, Mullen urged the board to take four actions:
- Resolve the Millikin issue
- Actively engage both cities, their mayors and councils, and the Heights Library
- Re-open Plan C for revision
- More fully involve the entire community in the facilities plan
Mullen concluded his remarks by saying, “I’m calling on the Board to take ownership of the facilities process, fix the plan where needed, and sell it to the community. And I’m offering the help of Reaching Heights, FutureHeights, and many dedicated citizens to make that happen.”
Kim Sergio Inglis
Kim Sergio Inglis is editor-in-chief of the Heights Observer. She lives in the Shaker Farm Historic District in Cleveland Heights.