The city council and the board of education have scheduled a joint meeting for Wednesday evening to discuss the recently completed five-year school district facilities plan.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the city council chamber in city hall. School and city officials will discuss the long-range facilities that makes various recommendations to improve school buildings for students.
Long-range facilities plan recommendations include:
• Demolition of current school at Don Bosco to rebuild the school
• Close School 14 by moving students to School 5 and re-building it as a pre-school
• Create 400 additional seats by expanding School 18
• Renovate Rosa Parks High School and add six new classrooms
• Demolish and rebuild School 3
• Renovate historic School 7
• Expand School 15 to create 300 additional seats
• Demolish and rebuild School 11 and move students to School 15
• Fully renovate Roberto Clemente School
• Renovate Culinary Arts wing at Eastside High School
• Move HARP Academy to St. Joseph’s Medical Complex.
The recommendations were made by Ohio-based DeJong-Richter, an educational facilities planning firm, after it reviewed the district’s facilities and hosted a number of community forums for residents’ input.
School board president Jonathan Hodges said much of the discussions on Wednesday will revolve around the various needs of the school district’s facilities about ten of which are more than a century old.
“We want to include the city council and the rest of the city in what we’re doing with the facilities plan,” said Hodges. “We want the state to recognize we’re all in this together as a city.”
Hodges said the meeting is also to build an unified front in the city to push the state to build much needed new schools.
“We’re very familiar with the dire needs of the district relative to facilities,” said council president William McKoy. “We’d like to hear what their recommendations are and where we can provide support we will certainly do that.”
“We’re trying to push our facilities plan to make sure some of these things are done,” said Hodges. He mentioned the previous facilities plan which resulted in the district obtaining just two schools after waiting almost eight years.
The new facilities plan calls for six new schools and major upgrades at other buildings.
“We can’t wait almost seven years before we get a new school,” said Hodges. “We’re way behind in the numbers that we need.”