Case Elementary was supposed to be rebuilt as part of the Cleveland district's construction program, but a revised plan calls for closing the school.

6 elementary schools won't be rebuilt under revised Cleveland proposal

May 15, 2019
The rebuilt schools were promised as part of a 2014 bond proposal, but the district now says those schools aren't needed, and it doesn't have the money to build them.

Six new elementary schools that Cleveland voters were promised when they passed a school construction bond in 2014 will never be built under a revised plan that school district leaders have proposed.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the updated plan calls for students at most of these schools—all of which have low enrollments, poor grades or aging facilities—will instead be moved to other campuses.

Those changes are likely to be carried out in the 2020-21 school year, sometimes by relocating an entire special program, or through a merger with another school.

On the other hand, two elementary schools initially slated for minor repairs will get major overhauls—Douglas MacArthur Girls Leadership Academy will be replaced with a new school, and Gallagher Elementary will undergo major renovations.

“Schools we had thought about building back in 2013 and '14 no longer seem to be appropriate in today’s landscape,” says district CEO Eric Gordon.

the proposed revisions to the facility plan s revision covers only K-8 schools, with separate discussions to cover high schools planned for the fall.

The plan calls for merging the district’s two boys-only schools, Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership and Valley View Boys Leadership academies, and moving both Tremont Montessori and Dike School of the Arts to existing, but still not identified, buildings.

The Cleveland district estimates that it has already built or renovated school space for 2,500 more East Side students than it will have in a few years, and still has a need for 5,000 more updated school seats on the West Side.

Closing East Side elementary schools instead of constructing replacement campuses will avoid more overbuilding, the district says.

Voters in Cleveland approved a $200 million bond issue in 2014 to pay for building or renovating at least 20 schools.

Though nine of the promised schools are either built or under construction, the district has just $55 million to $60 million of the bond issue left, Chief Operating Officer Patrick Zohn says.

That leaves the district short of the bond funds needed to build the remaining 13 schools. Zohn said the district likely only has enough money to build or renovate one more high school.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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