Renovated high school on track for August 2017 completion
Renovation of Cleveland Heights High School, the first part of Phase 1 of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District’s Master Facilities Plan, is on schedule for completion on or before Aug. 14, 2017, the first day of the 2017–18 school year for teachers.
The project includes renovation of the original 1926 façade, clock tower and auditorium, and newly constructed state-of-the-art classrooms, athletic facilities, arts spaces and common areas. The renovated building will feature more-efficient use of space, improved traffic flow and security, a new mini-theater and a community-accessible, competition-size swimming pool.
The building will be one of the most energy-efficient high schools in the nation. Features such as a geothermal heating and cooling system, a tight building envelope—made possible by new roofing, insulation and new energy-efficient windows—and LED lighting throughout the building will help the project achieve LEED Gold certification, a measure of energy efficiency. Other building practices, such as renovating an existing building and reusing and recycling materials, also contributed to the rating.
The high school project is estimated to cost $6 million more than the original 2014 estimate, primarily because of higher-than-expected labor costs, soil conditions and additional abatement of hazardous materials and conditions.
Voters passed a $134.8 million bond issue in November 2013 to help finance Phase 1 of the facilities project, which has a budget of $157 million. Additional funds will come from the State of Ohio and grants from private foundations.
Phase 1 of the project also included repurposing the former Wiley Middle School for use as the district’s high school for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 school years. This part of the project cost the district $18.9 million—$3.2 million more than the original estimate—because of a delay in the commencement of construction, upgrades and an increase in the scope of the project.
Renovation of the district’s remaining two middle schools, Roxboro and Monticello, is the final part of Phase 1 and is scheduled to begin in June 2017, at the close of the school year. The estimated budget for this portion of the project is $38 million, less than the original $46.3 million budgeted in 2014.
Find out more about the district’s facilities renovation projects and see construction updates at www.chuh.org/facilities.aspx.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.