September 1, 2014

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Sheffield-Sheffield Lake school board considers realignments, closures

The Sheffield Board of Education is considering a realignment of schools that would see the current middle school be used for third to sixth grades. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

The Sheffield Board of Education is considering a realignment of schools that would likely see the current middle school demolished. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

CORRECTION: Third- through sixth-grade classes would attend Brookside High School under a plan being considered by the Board of Education. Sheffield Middle School likely would be demolished due to its age, Superintendent Michael Cook said.

SHEFFIELD — Barr and Tennyson elementary schools likely would be demolished, leased or sold as part of a realignment Board of Education members are considering.

The realignment, discussed at Monday’s board meeting, would take place when the new $31 million seventh- through 12th-grade school is scheduled to open in January 2015 on Harris Road.

If approved, Forestlawn Elementary School, 3975 Forestlawn Ave., Sheffield Lake, would be a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten school. Knollwood Elementary, 4975 Oster Road, Sheffield Lake, would be a first- and second-grade school. Brookside High School, 1812 Harris Road, would be a third- through sixth-grade school.

Bill Emery, board chairman, said a final decision hasn’t been made. “This sounds like a workable plan, (but) things could change in the future,” he said.

If approved, Emery said, the changes in the 1,900-student school district probably wouldn’t take place until August 2015 when the 2015-16 school year begins. Board member Sheila Lopez said a realignment vote will likely occur in the next six to nine months.

Lopez said parents would be given plenty of time to adjust to the change. “The whole thing is shocking, so the thing is to do it right one time,” she said.

Superintendent Michael Cook — promoted from high school principal in January — said besides demolition, leasing or a sale, Barr, at 2180 Lake Breeze Ave., Sheffield, could be used for equipment storage. If either Barr or Tennyson, 555 Kenilworth Ave., Sheffield Lake, were sold, Ohio law requires that first they be offered to charter school companies.

In other business:

Board members approved placing two five-year renewal levies on the ballot in May. The 7.5-mill levy raises $2.3 million annually and costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $279 yearly, according to Treasurer Joshua Hill. The 6.2-mill levy raises nearly $1.9 million annually and costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $230 yearly.

The levies, first approved in 2005, expire at the end of 2015. The district has a $20.8 million annual general fund budget and about 245 employees.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • Phil Blank

    Why is the “old” Brookside school still standing?