by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, June 2016) Seventy people attending a Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) Master Plan Update Meeting on May 18th at Waterson-Lake School building learned of plans that involve four school sites: Halle/H. Barbara Booker PreK-8; Waverly Prek-8; West Side High School at the old Max Hayes site; and Joseph M. Gallagher PreK-8.
Ward 15 Councilman Matt Zone and CMSD Chief Operating Officer Patrick Zohn greeted those in attendance and introduced contact people that will be involved in the demolition and construction projects.
A representative of A.M. Higley Construction said that the former Halle School building will be demolished this summer. Work on the demolition should be finished by September 20, 2016. Construction of the new H. Barbara Booker School on the Halle site should begin in March of 2017 and be completed by June of 2018. The capacity of the new building will be 385 students. CMSD Chief Operating Officer Zohn said that CMSD has learned that it can comfortably fit 450 students in a building that under state rules has a capacity of 385.
The Halle site of the new H. Barbara Booker Campus is located between Halle Avenue and Camden Avenue between W. 82nd and W. 73rd. The new school will use the same footprint as the old Halle School with parking on both the east and west sides of the building. The main entrance will be on Halle Avenue with security and the main office right by the entrance. The new campus will feature a playground on the north side of the building on Halle and an outdoor learning area on the south side of the building on Camden. The building will allow access to the gym and community areas in the building for use for community meetings without having to open the main entrance and access to the classroom areas.
Superintendent of ICON Construction Steve Javorek, who will be working on both the Waverly and West Side High School projects, said his firm will soon begin with abatement at Waverly – removing lead, asbestos and any hazardous chemicals from the site. Once the abatement is finished, he expects demolition of the old Waverly building to begin in July and be finished by late September or early October of 2016. Construction of the new Waverly school begins in the Spring of 2017 and be finished in time for the start of the school year in August of 2018.
The new Waverly, located on between W. 54th and W. 57th between Bridge and Franklin, will house students from the combined Waverly and Watterson Lake Schools. The building will be designed to house 470 students. The building will have two classrooms per grade plus one Pre-Kindergarten classroom, one special education classroom, an art room, science room and media center. Zohn said the plan is to then demolish the Watterson-Lake building on W. 74th just south of Detroit to leave a clean slate for Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization to use as a neighborhood development site. The old Watterson Lake Building just north of the current building has already been demolished.
West Side High School
The new West Side High School, promised years ago when the closing of West Technical High School led to overcrowding at Lincoln West, Rhodes and John Marshall, is, finally, coming to fruition. The site of the new school will be the former Max Hayes campus at 4600 Detroit Avenue. ICON Construction’s Superintendent Javorek says the abatement on the old Max Hayes school will begin in the third week of June of this year and be completed in September or October. Demolition will take place from October of 2016 to January of 2017
Javorek promised his crew will make every effort to keep down the noise and dust during the process of demolition. He said an eight-foot security fence will be around the site and water cannons will be used to help diminish the dust. Javorek says construction on the new West Side High School will begin in August of 2017 and the school will be completed by December of 2019. CMSD’s Chief Operating Officer Zohn said the planning for the West Side High School is still in the early stages of design. The academic piece needs more input before the design of the building can be completed.
Councilman Matt Zone said he and the CMSD administration are well aware of the West Tech Alumni Association’s desire to have the new school be named West Tech. However, he would not say whether or not that would happen.
Councilman Zone announced that Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) had acquired the white house just north of the new Franklin Reading Garden on the Southwest corner of W. 65th and Franklin. Zone said CMSD has purchased the lot from DSCDO. He said after a Landmarks Committee meeting on proposed demolition of the house, CMSD hopes to begin demolishing it in mid-June to make way for additional parking for teachers and staff at Gallagher.
CMSD Chief Operating Officer Zohn says he is waiting for a report from the State of Ohio to see how much money will be available for the renovation of Gallagher School at W. 65th and Franklin. He said originally the district slated up to $8 million for improvements. He said increased enrollment in the building has made more funding available from the State of Ohio. Zohn hopes the state of Ohio will agree to provide enough additional renovation funding to allow for a $18-20 million comprehensive renovation of the building.
Those attending the meeting also received contact information in case any problems or concerns come up during the process of demolition or construction on any of the schools. For problems with any of the projects residents can contact CMSD Deputy Chief of Capital Projects Gary Sautter at 216-838-0405 or Gary.Sautter@clevelandmetroschools.org; or Master Plan Consultant Patti Choby of the Cobalt Group at 216-849-6333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Manager Andy Hudak of A.M. Higley Construction is the direct contact for the Halle site. His phone number is 216-861-2050 ext. 149.
Superintendent Steve Javorek of ICON Construction is the direct contact for the Waverly and West Side High School sites. His phone number is 440-463-1615.
DSCDO Director of Community Involvement Austin Boxler will be relaying information to block clubs on upcoming meetings concerning the schools. Boxler can be contacted at 216- 961-4242 ext. 243 or at email@example.com.