Board reviews 5 gym options
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Feb 07, 2014 | 1118 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Upland Design Group presented five design options for the new Cleveland High School gymnasium at a called school board meeting Thursday morning.

The Cleveland Board of Education agreed to present two at the City Council meeting Monday.

Architect Brian Templeton detailed the options. Prices ranged from $10,602,375 to $13,166,550. Differences between the designs consisted of the amount of space set aside for the gymnasium, seating and classrooms.

Templeton previously presented various architectural space program drafts at a site committee meeting. School board members requested the design firm draw up diagrams of the drafts.

Templeton originally suggested a three-court set-up. He recanted his suggestion, saying the amount of space provided for construction is not adequate for the proposed design. Instead, the options listed focused on a one-court gym. Seating differed between the designs, ranging from the Dome’s current 1,500 to 2,700.

Key similarities between the options included an elevated track, differing in size from 7,500 square feet to 9,750 square feet; a weight training and cardio room; locker rooms; staff offices; an aerobics room; coaches’ offices; meeting room; and secure doors between the lobby and general academic area.

Board members chose options D and C-Alternative for the City Council presentation. The former is a base replacement option. The latter allows for additional seating and classroom space.

Board members unanimously favored option C-Alt.

The alternative is a modified version of the originally priced $13,166,550 option C model. Templeton removed two rooms from the plan and decreased the size of the lobby for an estimated $750,000 decrease. He estimated the cost to be between $10 million and $12 million.

Included in the design is a multi-purpose room capable of being divided into two rooms; a pre-function host room; or a conference room, depending on need.

Cleveland High administrators discussed the possibility of using the gym as the venue for indoor graduations. Principal Autumn O’Bryan predicted seating for 2,700; floor space and room on the roughly 12-foot wide elevated track would allow each senior to receive eight tickets for graduation.

She predicted discussion between the city schools and City Council will center around the amount of seating needed by the high school.

According to diagrams provided by UDG, option D includes four classrooms and seating for 1,500, in addition to the key similarities shared by the designs. The price tag attached to the base replacement plan is $10,602,375.

O’Bryan said option D provides no room for growth.

Board member Richard Shaw pointed out the school’s population was 800 when the Raider Dome was built in the 1960s. O’Bryan explained the Raider Dome’s seating capacity of 1,500 was part of a growth projection for the school. Recent years found the school incapable of comfortably fitting the entire student body into the gym for school assemblies.

“If we were to replace exactly what we had, we had already started to outgrow that,” O’Bryan said. “Our student body is almost at capacity right now, as far as the Dome is concerned. One point I always think of is our physical campus has almost tripled in size since the Dome was built.”

Cleveland High has almost tripled in size since its construction.

O’Bryan expressed confidence the right decision will be made.

“I feel really good about the process. When you get into a major capital project, this is part of the process,” O’Bryan said. “I think having trust in your school board and the City Council to choose the best thing for the students of Cleveland City Schools is not a wish, it is a requirement.”

Added O’Bryan, “I feel really confident in our ability to get to where we need to be.”