District shifts facilities focus to middle school renovations

Heights Middle School on the Wiley campus in University Heights will house students from Monticello and Roxboro middle schools for the next two years.

Now that the transformation of Heights High is complete, the CH-UH City School District has turned its facilities focus to Monticello and Roxboro middle schools. The buildings, which house grades six through eight, will undergo renovations beginning in March 2018, to be completed in June 2019.

The renovations will ensure that the buildings operate more efficiently, with updates to the HVAC, electrical systems and technology. Each classroom will receive new air conditioning, flooring, ceilings and paint, in order to enhance the learning environment for students.

Monticella and Roxboro middle school students have been combined into one “Heights Middle School” on the Wiley campus in University Heights for the next two years. The two schools will remain separate for state reporting purposes, but they will share a number of classes and activities, including lunch, as one school.

“We were excited to open the new Heights High, but we were also looking forward to welcoming our middle school students to Wiley,” said CH-UH Superintendent Talisa Dixon. “This is an opportunity to have both Monticello and Roxboro on one IB-authorized campus where our teachers can collaborate to provide an enriching educational environment for our students.”

District staff has been working with architects from Moody Nolan and construction managers from Turner Construction for more than a year, planning the middle school renovations and gathering input from teachers, staff, students and community members.

The Board of Education voted unanimously this past July to approve design documents from Moody Nolan and Turner Construction. This decision came after the board had an extensive discussion about the direction of the middle school renovations during its June 27 work session.

Board members considered the scope of the project [in light of] the reduced budget for the middle school portion of Phase 1 of the Master Facilities Plan. Due to many latent issues and unforeseen conditions at the Wiley site and the Heights High renovation, the hard-cost budget for the two middle schools decreased from a projected $40 million in 2014 to $30 million currently. With the reduced scope in mind, the board considered alternative paths for the middle school renovations, but ultimately decided to stay the course and remain on schedule to reopen in 2019.

“I know there has been much discussion about the upcoming renovations to our middle schools,” said Dixon. “We looked at all of our options and determined that the best path forward is to continue with the modest renovations planned for Monticello and Roxboro. The work may not be to the extent of what was envisioned several years ago, but I believe the renovations will make a difference in improving the educational space we provide for our students.”

Scott Wortman

Scott Wortman is the supervisor of communications for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 1:00 PM, 08.28.2017