Millikin neighbors thank school district

A mural at the Millikin playground.

The playground at the corner of Maple and Wood roads is no longer the sad, dreary space it was as recently as 2019, when our group of civically minded volunteers began to turn it around.

The Millikin Neighborhood Group would like to thank the CH-UH City School District for its unwavering support. Since the group's inception, the district has been an invaluable partner to us. By allowing us to use the playground space at the former Millikin school, the district enabled us to continue our community-building efforts.

It has been gracious in advising us on what we may and may not do with the space. With district guidance and our fundraising efforts we have been able to add: a garden, a picnic table, a mural created by Heights High students, installations created by local artists and crafted by community volunteers, donated seating, a storage bench, playground equipment, and a multitude of donated toddler-play elements.

With the enhancements made to the space, we were able to host numerous community events over the last three years that drew more than 2,000 people. The space is in use daily by neighborhood children and their parents.

It is our hope that our presence there helps the school district as well, by demonstrating that it is a vibrant space full of joyful activity. We are committed to changing the too-common community perception that the school building is a vacant nuisance. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we happily tell folks how the use of the space to centrally house the trades and maintenance staff, and provide equipment and bulk storage, saves the district money. It also provides us with an invaluable resource to bring our neighborhood together.

So, we thank school board members and Superintendent Kirby for their support. Also, we give a special shout out to the staff who help us through their routine maintenance of the playground and surrounding green spaces.

All of Cleveland Heights should celebrate the many ways the school district partners with organizations and community groups to improve our schools and what is offered to our children outside the classroom, and promote strong neighborhoods. These partnerships are not a happy accident. They are proof of the vision and dedication of our school board and school administrators to leverage and amplify resources across the community as part of their diligence to serve Heights children.

Cindie Carroll-Pankhurst and Robin Koslen

Cindie Carroll-Pankhurst and Robin Koslen are members of the Millikin Neighborhood Group, working on community-building in their diverse neighborhood. Millikin Neighborhood Group is a multi-year FutureHeights mini-grant recipient. 

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:42 PM, 05.01.2023