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School board to consider construction plan


The Board of Education will consider a new master plan for construction, renovation and maintenance of schools when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Clark School, 5550 Clark Ave.

The plan, which will shape the look of the District for years to come, calls for building as many as 19 schools to replace structures that are aging and obsolete. The board will review the plan at 6 p.m. Monday at CMSD headquarters, 1111 Superior Ave.

Planners sought to address declining enrollment while also ensuring that quality options are available in every neighborhood, a fundamental goal of The Cleveland Plan, a state-approved blueprint for reform. They took neighborhood population and development patterns into account and tried to complement amenities like recreation centers, libraries and parks.

The plan will continue modernization that CMSD and the state began more than a decade ago, after the gym roof collapsed at the former East High School. Work is contingent on voters extending tax payments they agreed to in 2001.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon instructed planners to be strategic in allocating more than 9,000 remaining seats that the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission will fund. The OFCC typically provides $2 for every $1 supplied by the District.

But he also told them to keep the plans flexible in case school reforms cause enrollment to increase or the trend continues and downsizing becomes necessary.

“We do not have to give in to the inevitable that we are just going to keep getting smaller,” he said.

The District presented a set of construction, renovation and maintenance options in late May. Planners heeded polling and other feedback that indicated the public wanted school closings held to a minimum. High schools were spared entirely.

The options were adjusted based on reaction fielded at a series of 14 community open houses. The last two open houses were held Thursday.