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Facilities plan will continue effort to modernize schools

CMSD NEWS BUREAU
10/9/2014
 
When The Plan for Transforming Cleveland’s Schools took effect two years ago, CEO Eric Gordon and the Cleveland Board of Education promised citizens that children in every neighborhood in the city would have access to a quality education.

But where students learn plays a role in how well they learn. That is why fully transforming Cleveland’s public school system from top to bottom also means providing students with quality buildings suitable for a 21st Century education.

CMSD’s new Master Facilities Plan was drafted with that connection in mind.
 
The facilities plan, which the Board of Education approved in June, calls for building 20 to 22 schools and refurbishing 20 to 23 others.

Projects are contingent on voters approving Issue 4 on Nov. 4. The ballot issue authorizes $200 million in bonds for construction and a half-mill property tax for maintenance.

But Issue 4 will not increase taxes. And the state will contribute more than $2 for every $1 that the District spends on new construction.

The plan continues a modernization program that the District and state launched after the gym roof at the former East High collapsed 14 years ago.
 
Since then, CMSD has built 34 schools and fully renovated seven others. The projects include new homes for John Marshall High School, Max S. Hayes High School and the Cleveland School of the Arts that are under construction and scheduled to open next year.

The additional projects funded by Issue 4 will provide CMSD with the flexibility to continue creating new and innovative school models, like the new Bard High School Early College Cleveland, Cleveland High School for Digital Arts, E³agle Academy and PACT (Problem-based Academy of Critical Thinking), all of which opened this year.

At the same time, neighborhoods across the District will have access to quality school options.

The District is working to maintain the community’s faith that CMSD has the right academic plan and the right facilities plan to fully transform its schools and school communities.

The school construction also will bring jobs to the community.
 
The Board of Education has adopted the city’s Community Benefits Agreement for construction projects. The agreement will place priority on hiring city residents, minorities, women and small businesses.



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