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District closing 2 schools, will help families pick nearby options

CMSD NEWS BUREAU
2/6/2015

CMSD will close two elementary schools at the end of this school year, but the moves are not unexpected and families will still have quality District options to choose from in both neighborhoods.

The closings of Paul Revere and Buckeye-Woodland schools are in keeping with CMSD’s promise to eliminate surplus space while also building and renovating schools to make them suitable for 21st Century education.

Both closings are mentioned as possibilities in a revised Master Facilities Plan that was discussed extensively at community meetings and approved by the Board of Education last June, four months before voters overwhelmingly approved a $200 million bond issue.

The bond issue will permit the District to build 20 to 22 schools and remodel 20 to 23 without raising taxes. The state will contribute more than $2 for every $1 CMSD spends on new construction.

“The vision and support of the people of Cleveland has helped us manage enrollment declines where needed while ensuring that all families have access to quality school options in their neighborhoods,” Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon said.

CMSD notified families of the closings Friday in phone calls and letters sent home with students. Teachers and staff at the schools were briefed Friday morning.

No teachers or other employees will lose their jobs because of the closings. Teams will help them find other positions in the District.

District officials took into account the condition of the schools and enrollment.

Paul Revere was built in 1925, with additions in 1950 and 1966, while Buckeye-Woodland opened in1975. The buildings each hold less than 300 students, well below capacity.

CMSD allows families to choose schools across the District, but those whose children attend Paul Revere and Buckeye-Woodland have options near their homes.

Most Paul Revere students live near one of the following schools: Nathan Hale, Miles, Miles Park, Charles Dickens, Charles Eliot and Warner Girls’ Leadership Academy. The master facilities plan calls for replacing Charles Eliot with a new building; the other schools have been built since 2007, in an earlier phase of the construction program.

Buckeye-Woodland families could shift to Harvey Rice, which opened in 2009, or Anton Grdina, which opened in 2011.

They also could opt for Sunbeam, which is to be replaced by a new building on adjacent property in August 2017, or Bolton, which will be replaced by a new building on another site in the Fairfax neighborhood in August 2018.

Harvey Rice is part of a campus that also features a Cleveland Public Library branch. Sunbeam’s replacement is part of the area identified for the proposed Skyline Campus, 20 acres of redevelopment that would involve Neighborhood Progress Inc., the adjacent Benjamin Rose Institute and other community stakeholders.

Nearby CMSD schools will host open houses or make other appeals to families from the two schools, promoting their programs and state-of-the-art facilities.

Though CMSD is taking Paul Revere out of service, the District will preserve a community garden on the grounds. A playground that the Cleveland Browns built at Buckeye-Woodland will be moved to another school.

CMSD will form "legacy committees" that will plan ways to celebrate and honor the traditions of two buildings that served the District well for many years.



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