Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education meeting highlights 1-20-2015

JANUARY 20, 2015

  • Levy resolution
  • Facilities update

Ron Register, board vice president, was absent.

Levy resolution

The board approved a 5.9 mill levy to be placed on the May 2015 ballot for operating expenses. An initially recommended 6.1 mills was reduced to 5.9 by reducing overtime, supplemental contracts and IT needs, and identifying budget cuts in all departments. Jayne Geneva, Lay Finance Committee chair, and Scott Gainer, district treasurer, explained the rationale for the levy:

  • The state is putting more of the financial burden on local taxpayers even though the Ohio schools funding system is unconstitutional.
  • The state will stop paying 12.5 percent on new levies.
  • Property taxes have declined 2 percent.
  • The district loses $2 million to charter schools.
  • Interest income is down.
  • Teachers have agreed to a 12-month pay scale to save on interest.
  • Staff costs continue to rise.
  • Moving the high school to Wiley during the facilities renovation has led to increased costs in transportation and security.

Facilities update

Redevelopment designs for the Delisle Options Center building are occurring in preparation for moving the Career Tech Education (CTE) program there. The parking variance for the auto shop was discussed, and construction is to start this spring to be ready for the 2015 school year.

The “gateway” stadium renovation project at the corner of Lee and Cedar roads will be completed in time for the first 2015 football game. This area will include restrooms and concessions.

Materials and building colors to complement the 1926 structure are being studied. Schematics were shown for the gymnasium, natatorium and student commons. Board Member Eric Silverman expressed concern that the metal and masonry façades were not compatible with the 1926 architecture.

For window design, emphasis was on using as much natural light as possible.

Three community members urged the architect to continue to  consider sustainability, maintenance and repair aspects. They also expressed concern about housing the CTE program at Delisle because of travel time. Auto and cosmetology have three-period blocks so students can walk to Delisle, but other CTE programs do not and therefore should be on the Heights High campus. Other concerns involved whether Delisle is the district’s vision for the future for the CTE program.

LWV Observer: Lillian Houser.

These meeting summaries are abstracted from LWV observers’ written reports. The summaries have been edited and prepared by Anne McFarland, Charlene Morse and Maryann Barnes. To receive e-mail postings of full reports, send an e-mail to or join through Google groups using “lwv-chuh observer reports” as a search phrase.

These reports contain member observation and selected highlights of public meetings and are not official statements of the Heights Chapter of the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland. This disclaimer must accompany any redistribution of these reports

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