In 2009, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District engaged staff, parents, students and the community to help create a comprehensive Facilities Plan for the district’s schools. Recognizing that our buildings are held in trust for the public, a comprehensive vision was developed to renovate all school buildings, bringing classrooms into the 21st century and improving public access for community use. To accomplish the first phase of this Facilities Plan, the district placed a $134.8 million bond issue on the November 2013 ballot to renovate Cleveland Heights High School and two middle schools. Voters overwhelmingly passed the bond issue with 59% voting yes.
First to be renovated is Cleveland Heights High School, the flagship for the district. Heights High is characteristic of the needs facing the district. The building’s maintenance and space issues create an impediment to fostering 21st century learning.
With construction beginning in June of 2015, by August 2017 Heights High will be a striking blend of old and new. All of the additions added since 1926 will be replaced with new construction designed to match the original architecture. The historic central core will be renovated and attached to a hybrid geothermal HVAC system designed for sustainability. Larger classrooms will be wired for the 21st century while also allowing for future upgrades. The new floor plan will improve movement through the building while allowing public access to the community for designated areas like the pool in the evenings, on weekends and in the summer.
The Heights communities value education, their schools and their children as evidenced by the overwhelming passage of the bond issue. However, with an eye to sound fiscal stewardship, the Board of Education requested that the community raise funds to support basic renovation costs. An additional $3.0 million is sought to leverage the bond funds to provide enhancements to the students’ learning environment, adding elements that will impact Heights for the next 50 years.
These enhancements fall into four categories:
- Athletic Programs
- The Arts (visual and instrumental)
- Applied Sciences
- Public spaces
Enhancements will heighten the impact for both students and the community, such as adding to the Gateway building by the football field for student athletes and community use, increasing the display and gallery space to exhibit award-winning student art work or including a rooftop garden for urban gardening and science study.
For Heights students, learning in the completely renovated and revitalized Heights High will be a transformative experience allowing students to delve deeply into instruction that fosters the development of the critical creative, problem-solving, communication and thinking skills the students of today need to be college and career ready. For the Heights communities, the renovated Heights High will model an energy-efficient, sustainable building that offers expanded community use to attract and retain families to the Heights area.
Donations can be made online or you can contact the Alumni Foundation at 216-397-3871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.