University Heights To Keep Its Elementary School

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Schools Lay Facilities Committee's six scenarios for recommendation to the school board all include an elementary school in University Heights.

University Heights will have an elementary school within its boundaries in each of the six recommendations under consideration by the district’s Lay Facilities Committee.

The committee met Tuesday night to present six scenarios they have written for district restructuring and building renovation. The scenarios would close some buildings, including either the Gearity or Wiley building, but Committee Chair Patrick Mullen said that one of the two buildings would stay open and house the elementary school.

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.

Next week, the committee will release a survey to the public asking their preferences for the new configuration of the district's schools, and will use those results to narrow the six scenarios to three at its March 6 meeting.

Then, it will ask its architectural and construction consultants to determine the cost of each scenario and send their findings to the Board of Education in April.

Click on the PDF to the right to see all the scenarios presented tonight, as well as a map of the district's current configuration, and watch Cleveland Heights Patch for more information as we update this story.


The following information was added after this article's original publishing.

All six scenarios written by the committee entail closing some schools and use only the property that the district already owns — and cut the number of open schools in the disctrict from 11 to seven or eight.

Heights High is the only building that would not close under any of the six plans.

Scenario 1 would leave CH-UH with one middle school, located at the current site of Boulevard Elementary. However, during Tuesday's meeting architectural consultant Steve Dzuranin told the committee that the site is not big enough to host a building large enough for all the district's students with athletic fields.

The other scenarios have two middle schools and four or five elementary schools. No matter what, the committee will recommend a renovation or rebuild of the high school and other buildings.

The committee is taking into account many factors in their consideration of these scenarios, including public opinion, districting — how far will each student live from their school? — busing, staffing, cost and flexibility for future enrollment change.

Ultimately, a master plan will be approved by the Board of Education, and the district will need a bond from voters this November to put the plan into motion.

The committee discussed community engagement during the meeting and many said that they believe it will improve once the scenarios get out — and residents see the schools in their neighborhood could close.

"Now is the time [for the community] to get involved," Mullen said. "We're going to have some specific possibilites that have consequences."

Surveys will be taken beginning next week online and in person. Watch Cleveland Heights Patch for the link to the online survey as soon as it becomes available.

michaelschwartz January 31, 2013 at 12:09 AM
Still don't agree. If indeed Roxboro is the best performing school, just transfer those kids to the new Coventry as I suggest above. It is centrally located and might actually draw some families in. Hardly anyone in Roxboro neighborhood uses the school and that will never change. Those few students using public schools will transfer easily to a new Coventry. They need think outside the box and keeping Roxboro open does nothing to change that. And BTW, what is the Board trying to do by being a landlord at Coventry, I am sure that is not their job. Their job is to educate kids, and quite frankly the evidence is that they are in the botom 5% in the whole state according to Patch.
Michael's Shorts January 31, 2013 at 12:35 AM
For the record, the Yuppie college crowd has been around for a long time in CH and will continue to exist and cycle through. CH benefits from being located so close to the University Circle institutions in that regard. Those folks have never stuck around to use the school district and likely never will, short of the district doing things to specifically target them, which of course will never happen. If the district starts with one rebuild, I'd like to see it be one of the of footprint schools (while closing or re-purposing the others). While michael's plan seems reasonable, the biggest concern I have with that is that it leaves money on the table long-term as we may never have another shot as a district to have the state pick up as much of the tab as they're offering right now. I don't have the solution, but I do know that at least one elementary school and probably one middle school needs to be closed and almost all of the schools need significant capital improvements.
Garry Kanter January 31, 2013 at 02:07 AM
It's becoming apparent that the whole LFC thing with all that "community engagement" was just smoke and mirrors to decide to keep a school in UH, and save face for whomever. Which might be the right decision, but a horsehit way of going about it. I thought they really wanted to give careful analysis and thought to what the next decade of construction would include, by getting input from a well educated and concerned community. I was fooled. Again.
Garry Kanter January 31, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Interestingly, the good people working on "Sustainability" are not considered a "Sub Committee", because they have non-LFC-committee citizens as members. This very briefly included me. Instead, they are referred to as a "work group" or some such. But the rules are different for the "Community Subcommittee". Mark Chupp is described as "volunteer advisor" to that group. See the difference? I don't.
Garry Kanter January 31, 2013 at 04:01 AM
I hope the community will insist that the planet's "Sustainability" be a core principle for any scenario adopted. These guys conveniently skipped that part.


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