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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

Shaker Heights School Renovation Budget Less Than Community Preferred Plan

Fernway elementary school in Shaker Heights has been closed since it sustained fire damage in July [Annie Wu / ideastream]
Exterior of Fernway school building in Shaker Heights

The Shaker Heights school board Wednesday night confirmed it would allocate $3 million toward the renovation of Fernway elementary after its roof caught fire in July, closing down the east side school. The budget is about $2 million less than what residents had hoped for.

School board president Jeffrey Isaacs says the community has been working with Van Aukin Akins architects to draw up a wish list of renovation plans.

“It wasn’t a pie in the sky plan,” said Isaacs. “They used some restraint in coming up with it, but they really did solve every single problem and made every addition you’d want in that building.”

Those additions include a music room, an art room, improved special education areas, an expanded gym, air conditioning, and a cafeteria. Students had been eating at their desks.

The board’s $3 million allocation will be on top of an estimated $14.6 million insurance payout. With a budget in place, a construction team will work to determine the scope of the project.

The architecture firm estimates it’ll take 14 months to complete the renovations.

Annie Wu is the deputy editor of digital content for Ideastream Public Media.