Rainfall has no school impact
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Aug 02, 2013 | 1182 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
E.L. Ross Construction
CLEVELAND CITY SCHOOLS Board of Education members took a tour of the recent construction changes made at E.L. Ross Elementary Thursday afternoon. The front office is now situated where the Technoplaza once sat at the end of the cafeteria. Visitors will have to go through the main office before they can gain entrance to the rest of the school. From left are Richard Shaw, Murl Dirksen, Dawn Robinson, Director of City Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff, George Meacham and Tom Cloud. Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
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Upland Design architect Brian Templeton told the Cleveland Board of Education’s site committee recent rains have not had an impact on the new elementary school’s construction schedule.

He said it appeared the prep work needed for the land was roughly halfway completed.

Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools, mentioned the workers were already hard at work when he checked the land early Thursday morning.

All board members were present with the exception of Steve Morgan. Templeton presented each with a copy of the new school architectural design. He said he tried to design the building based on the needs and wish list outlined by the school board.

Upland created the design based on a 700-pupil school. Each classroom will have 1,100 square feet, the same size as Mayfield Elementary’s classrooms. Templeton said the difference is where storage space is located. Instead of having a wall of cupboards inside of a classroom, a majority of storage space will be outside of the classroom.

“Mayfield is beautiful and the cabinetry is well organized, but you end up giving away wall space,” Templeton said. “You are able to get power where you need it [without the cabinetry] and you are able to use the wall as a backdrop for whatever you are doing.”

Board members asked a series of questions about the safe room Upland plans to build into the school.

George Meacham questioned what kind of winds the safe rooms will withstand.

He mentioned Cleveland has had several tornadoes reach EF4 and EF5 levels.

Templeton said safe rooms are usually built to withstand 150-160 mph wind gusts. He suggested looking into grants for hardened shelters offered by FEMA.

“Basically, what you are talking about doing is hardening the wall structure and creating another level of structure above for limited penetration,” Templeton said. “It is not big. It is not a significant investment.”

Murl Dirksen, site committee chair, said people might balk when they see the $140 per square foot price tag.

Templeton assured this is the going price, according to the current school construction market.

Dirksen said it is important people realize how much is being received for the dollars spent.

Added Ringstaff, “It looks like a lot of money because we have not built a school this size, elementary-wise.”

Board members reiterated the same message heard in previous meetings: they are interested in building schools which will benefit the community for a long, long time to come.

According to Dirksen, he is not planning on building another elementary school in his life.

“We want this to be state of the art,” Dirksen said. “This is going to be the ultimate building. ... This is the kind of thing I want to be proud of, and I know the board does, also.”

Dawn Robinson, board member, pointed out there would be savings through the geothermal energy saving technology set to be built into the new elementary school.

Energy Education Specialist Paul Ramsey said Cleveland High School’s energy use in June reached 197,000 kilowatt hours. While higher than Ramsey would like, he said there is a noticeable difference between energy use before and after energy-saving techniques were implemented.

According to Ramsey, June 2009 found the high school’s energy use reached 270,000.

Board members thanked Templeton for the work he has completed on the project.

Upland Design’s architectural designs will be revisited at Monday night’s board of education meeting.