Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Board of Education Meeting Recap


March 16, 2016 – The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education held its monthly work session on Tuesday in University Heights. The topic of the session was the middle school facilities project.

Curt Moody and Anne Hartman, both of Moody Nolan, updated the CH-UH Board members on the progress of the design process for the buildings. View Moody Nolan's complete presentation.

The topics discussed included:

Charrette and Visioning Sessions
Moody Nolan discussed the feedback they received from the design charrette and visioning sessions they held earlier this year. The architects received feedback from staff, students, parents and community members on initial mock-up schemes for the two facilities.

  • The feedback on the schemes, which were designed to gather reactions and facilitate discussions, allowed the architects to determine what was important to different stakeholders and what features would fit within the constraints of each site.
  • For example, some initial design schemes did not include an auditorium. The feedback on these schemes made it clear that certain stakeholders felt strongly that each building should have an auditorium.
  • Another example, a design scheme for Monticello saved the front façade of the building with all new construction behind it. However, after further review, this did not prove to be feasible and was cost prohibitive.

Community Feedback
Moody Nolan presented some of the comments and feedback from its community meeting on Feb. 24. The full list of comments can be found here.

Enrollment Projections
Moody Nolan has based their configurations thus far on building enrollments of 550 students each. This number is in line with the most recent enrollment projections from the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC). The OSFC is co-funding a percentage of the cost of Phase 1. Their contributions, which are disbursed after the completion of the project, are based on enrollment projections.

The complete report, which is still in draft form, from the OSFC can be found here (see page 35 of the PDF for the 10-year projections; page 14 details the enrollment trends since 2007). The report projects overall enrollment in the CH-UH District to drop by approximately 500 students in the next five years, including over 100 students at the middle school level (grades 6-8).

Board members expressed interest in designing for an enrollment slightly larger than 550.

New Design Schemes
After gathering feedback from stakeholders, the architects at Moody Nolan designed new schemes for the middle schools. Curt Moody presented a hybrid renovation scheme for each site. These designs maintained the core portion of each building, including the auditoriums, with new space constructed around this core.

According to Moody, an obstacle with the hybrid scheme is connecting the floor elevations of the existing building to the new portion, which would require a number of ramps and/or wheelchair lifts in the hallways to meet ADA requirements.

Moody also presented a new-build option for both sites. The new option features the same schematic layout for both Monticello and Roxboro. The two buildings would be differentiated by the color and texture of the exterior brick, and both would feature a traditional design. It was suggested by a Board member that the front entrances could feature columns for Roxboro and arches for Monticello to pay homage to the existing structures.

Next Steps
The team from Moody Nolan will take the feedback they received from the Board and return for the next work session, scheduled for April 19, to further discuss the middle school facilities project. Turner Construction will also be at the meeting to provide the Board with cost estimates for each of the design schemes.

Next Meeting
The CH-UH Board of Education will hold its monthly regular meeting on Tuesday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Board of Education offices in University Heights.

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