(Plain Press, November 2016) Hawken School, which has facilities in Gates Mills, Lyndhurst and University Circle on the East Side of Cleveland, recently announced plans to expand its presence on the West Side of Cleveland.
In an October 10th letter addressed to the Hawken Community, Hawken School Board of Trustees Chair Charles Cooley and Hawken Head of School D. Scott Looney announced that the school has agreed to merge with Birchwood School which has a campus on W. 140th in Cleveland.
Birchwood School, at 4400 W. 140th Street in the Bellaire Puritas neighborhood, serves students from preschool through eighth grade. According to the letter the founders of Birchwood School, Chuck and Helene Debelak, have ties to Hawken School. Three of their children are Hawken alumni.
The letter also states that Hawken is planning to purchase a building at 5400 Detroit Avenue to open as an Early Childhood Center. The building currently houses Saigon Plaza and is owned by the Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese. The building is in the Gordon Square area of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.
“We are excited about moving forward with these plans for many reasons. Opening an early childhood center in this region will fill a demand for more quality schools in Cleveland; it will create more opportunities for students to join the Hawken community as they enter into our Birchwood and Lyndhurst Lower Schools; and it will strengthen our position as ‘Cleveland’s Independent School,’” said Cooley and Looney.