PCSD Board Of Education Approves Master Plan

The GPD Group, a national architectural firm with local offices in Cleveland and Akron, recently presented their recommendation for Strategic Consolidation of the Parma City School District. 

Through two phases of construction, the master plan will replace 15 currently operating schools with nine new campuses. The phases will develop in this order:

Phase One (Secondary): 

  • Construct middle (grades 6-8) and high schools (grades 9-12) on the current Normandy and Valley Forge campuses.
  • Repurpose Parma Senior High School to become the home of central office, Opportunity Center for Students with Autism, Parma Schools Alumni Museum, Culinary and Cosmetology Career and Technical Education. programs, and community assets including a pool, gymnasiums, and theaters.
  • Close Greenbriar and Shiloh Middle Schools, preserving this land for potential elementary campus sites.
  • Repurpose Hillside as an Elementary School and site of future elementary school.

Phase Two (Elementary):

  • Construct six campuses (grades K-5).
  • Three campuses will compose the East Cluster, and three will compose the West Cluster.
    • One campus will be located in Parma Heights, one in Seven Hills, and four in Parma.
    • Actual location of campuses will be determined when the Board receives state contribution.
    • Two campuses in each cluster will also feature a Pre-Kindergarten program. 

GPD worked with the senior-level administrators from the Parma City Schools to host 24 community input sessions during the 2019 calendar year. Further, the school district invited the public to eight different tours of new campuses throughout the Northeast Ohio region to help residents and staff members envision the possibilities of new construction. Approximately 900 residents and staff members attended the Consolidation meetings or participated in the online survey.

“This is really a community plan,” explained Mark Salopek, GPD’s Director of Education. “We’ve rarely seen such an effort to engage residents over such a long time period. We’re hoping this results in a high level of support for construction and consolidation.”

The estimated cost of Phase One is $263 million, which converts to a projected 6.12 mill bond issue, which the district intends to place on the November 2020 ballot. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) will pay for 34% of the construction of the co-funded segments of Phase One, a credit the district will then apply to the cost of Phase Two. 

“We believe we have really gone about this the right way,” explained PCSD Board of Education president John Schweitzer. “This plan is not a knee-jerk reaction to a difficult set of circumstances. It is a well-developed, well-researched plan that represents the input we received from almost 900 participants in our surveys and focus groups. We think that the secondary campuses can become pillars of the community as we work with our partners to truly develop 18-hour campuses.”

At the December 19, 2019 PCSD Board of Education meeting, the Board unanimously approved Resolution 2019-12-527, “Authorization to Accept Superintendent’s Master Plan Proposal.” Because of this approval, the PCSD will now move forward in developing the next steps of the Master Planning process.

Visit www.parmacityschools.org/masterplan for more information.

Charles Smialek

Superintendent of Parma City School District

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Volume 12, Issue 1, Posted 1:49 PM, 01.01.2020