Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education, University Heights City Council joint meeting highlights 5-17-2017

MAY 17, 2017

Board of Education update:

  • High school construction on target
  • Touring the high school
  • Career and technical education
  • Wiley preparation for middle school
  • State of the Schools address

University Heights update:

  • UH master plan
  • University Square seeks investors
  • Commercial properties

President Ron Register and board members Jim Posch and Eric Silverman were present representing the school board, as were Superintendent Talisa Dixon and Treasurer Scott Gainer. University Heights Mayor Susan Infeld, Vice Mayor Susan Pardee, and council members Pamela Cameron, John Rach and Michele Weiss were also present, representing University Heights. The meeting was held from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

BOARD OF EDUCATION UPDATE

High school construction on target

Superintendent Dixon reported that the high school is scheduled to open on time. A convocation will be held on Aug. 18, and the fall term will start on Aug. 22. Eric Silverman invited the public to view photos of the building, including a state-of-the-art science lab, on the school district’s website. Dixon added that a community-day event will occur on Sept. 10.

Touring the high school

Dixon invited Mayor Infeld and members of the University Heights City Council to tour the high school. Residents can schedule tours by calling the high school’s communications office.

Career and technical education

 Jim Posch touted the high school’s career and technical education program, which prepares students for careers in fields such as auto tech, cosmetology, fire and emergency medical services, and health care. He noted that most of the students in the auto tech program have been offered jobs after graduation. Dixon praised the program’s success in preparing its students for careers.

Wiley preparation for middle school

George Petkac, director of business services, noted that his team’s work on the high school is wrapping up and that it is now preparing the transition of the Monticello and Roxboro middle schools to the Wiley campus. He unveiled a map showing how drive lines will be expanded to accommodate 16 buses daily, and said that directional signage will be installed.

Update on State of the Schools address

Dixon provided an update on [to her] State of the Schools address, [made] at the Cleveland Heights Community Center in April. She noted that, over the past three years, graduation rates have increased, the career tech program has expanded, and the district has hired a parent-engagement specialist to ensure that parents’ concerns are addressed. In the interest of greater transparency, Scott Gainer is researching software that will allow parents and stakeholders to make public comments and obtain access to the district’s policies and financial statements.

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS UPDATE

University Heights master plan

Mayor Infeld reported that the University Heights 2015 Master Plan has been completed. A draft of the plan can be found at universityheights.com.

University Square seeks investors

The mayor stated that bondholders now have possession of the University Square property, located at Cedar and Warrensville Center roads, and have been shopping plans and concepts to investors. She said the bondholders have yet to find a buyer, but noted that developers have expressed an interest in creating a housing element within the property.

Commercial properties

On May 11, the University Heights Architectural Review Board approved the proposal by Swenson’s Drive In to build a location at 14510 Cedar Road, adjacent to Jack’s Deli and Restaurant. The proposal goes before the University Heights Planning Commission on June 7, and Swenson’s will make a presentation to council on June 19. If the proposal is approved, parking will be added to the lot and a dedicated lane will be created for Jack’s Deli. The mayor noted that the owner of the adjoining strip mall plans to add a kosher sushi restaurant to his property.

A developer who buys Chinese restaurants has purchased the Kentucky Fried Chicken building near Cedar and Taylor roads. The owner has been out of the country for several months, but the mayor expects that renovations to the building will begin this year. The Cedar-Taylor Garage, which is now for sale, has garnered interest from several buyers. The mayor said that EPA issues will need to be addressed and that potential buyers are aware of the issue.

Next joint meeting

The next joint meeting is scheduled for fall 2017.

LWV Observer: Siobhan Leftwich.

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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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