Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

CH-UH to Host Board Work Session to Discuss Middle School Facilities

June 13, 2017 -- The CH-UH Board of Education will hold its monthly work session on Tuesday, June 27, at 7:00 p.m. at the Wiley campus cafeteria.

This month’s work session will include a comprehensive discussion around the District’s middle school facilities. The Board must confirm to the design and construction team by July 11, 2017, its intent to maintain the current path of completing modest renovations at Monticello and Roxboro.

The current path includes a combined $30 million to spend on renovations at both schools with each reopening in August of 2019.

The Board will not be making any decisions or hearing any proposals at the June 27 meeting. The work session includes the following points of discussion:

  • What is the purpose of this work session?
  • Where are we in Phase 1 of the Master Facilities Plan?
  • What factors led us to this point?
  • What is our current path for the middle school renovations?
  • What are alternative paths for the middle school renovations?
  • What are the Board’s next steps ahead of the July 11 decision deadline?
A summary of what will be discussed is included below.

Why is the Board discussing the middle school facilities now?
This discussion is due diligence for the Board to ensure they are on the path that the community desires for the middle school renovations. July 11 is the decision point for opening the renovated buildings on time. The modest renovations currently slated for Monticello and Roxboro are not necessarily as extensive as what was originally expected when the bond issue was passed in 2013.

What do these modest renovations include?
Please refer to the Design Development Narrative (linked below) for each building from the architects at Moody Nolan to see what is included in the renovations for both architectural elements and MEPT (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, technology) elements.

Note, in the document, the “Add Alternates” are NOT included in the current scope of the renovations. Future Permanent Improvement funds would need to be allocated to address these renovation items.

Please also refer to the Interior Finishes plan from Moody Nolan to see some of the architectural elements included in the renovation.

What decisions have been made?
In short, no decisions have been made outside of what was passed by voters in 2013. At the time, the Master Facilities Plan called for complete renovations of Monticello and Roxboro middle schools.

What decisions are being considered?
At this time, only one: Does the Board want to continue on the current path for renovating the middle schools or explore an alternative path?

What if the Board decides to explore an alternative path?
If the Board decides to explore an alternative path for the middle schools, the renovated buildings would open in August of 2020. Other ramifications include:

  • The Board would see options for a major renovation (~$25-27 million) on one building and a light renovation (~$3-5 million) on the second building.
  • The Board would solicit community input to examine the current Master Facilities Plan.
  • Grade banding options are flexible, allowing for 5-6/7-8 or 6-7-8 grades at the middle schools.

Is the Wiley building being considered as an alternative path for the middle schools?
No, the Board is set on renovating Monticello and Roxboro whether they are the current modest renovations or an alternative model. The possibility of renovating Wiley to use as a middle school was presented to the District administration by the architects and construction manager due to the relative condition of the building.

However, the administration and the Board agree that using Wiley, and closing either Monticello or Roxboro, deviates too far from the plan that was passed by voters in 2013.

What is included in a major renovation?
A major renovation would include everything that is currently in the modest renovations along with all of the “Add Alternates” listed in the Design Development Narrative from Moody Nolan. A corresponding light renovation would address certain elements such as ADA, code, or HVAC issues.

Is the District closing any elementary school buildings?
No, not at this time. In 2013, the Master Facilities Plan called for Fairfax and Noble elementary schools to be closed during Phase 2 of the plan. There are no plans to alter this course currently. If the District did want to change these plans, the Board would solicit extensive community input to make this decision.

What factors led the District to this discussion?
There are two main factors to consider when discussing due diligence on the middle school facilities:

Educational Objectives

  • Improving our educational outcomes is Goal 1 of the District’s Strategic Plan. CH-UH’s Educational Services Department is focused on this goal and outlined a recommendation to the Board in April of 2017.
  • The department recommended changing the District’s grade configuration beginning in 2019 with PreK-4 buildings, one 5-6 building, and one 7-8 building, along with the high school.
  • As currently proposed, the middle schools buildings will not be large enough to adequately hold the recommended grade banding levels of 5-6/7-8.
  • The Board requested more information as to the costs of the new configuration, especially as it pertains to the proposed renovations at Monticello and Roxboro.
  • Watch the full presentation from the April 13 Board meeting or download the PowerPoint slides used during it.

Financial Budget

  • The District originally expected to have $38 million to cover the hard costs of the renovations at Monticello and Roxboro.
  • Due to many latent issues and unforeseen conditions at the Wiley Enabling site and the Heights High renovation, this budget number has decreased to $30 million.
  • Please refer to the detailed Financial Budget Summary to read about the cost issues associated with Wiley and the high school.

What can I do as a parent or community member?
You can attend the June 27 meeting to learn more about the status of the middle school renovations. You are also encouraged to provide feedback to Board members as they approach the July 11 decision point. Visit the Board of Education page for contact information.

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