The Cleveland City School Board on Thursday looked over a few basic plans for a gym to replace the now unusable Raider Dome.
Architect Brian Templeton from the Upland Design Group presented five cursory schematics for the proposed construction project. Throughout the presentation the board brought up and discussed concerns over needed additions that include increased seating, classroom space, offices, training and locker rooms.
The meeting was called after the Cleveland City Council requested some actual numbers so that the council can make a decision and get the project underway. As it stands the estimated cost of the project would land between $10 to $12 million. These estimates would cover the entire cost of the project and would include, among other items, the demolition of the Raider Dome, new construction and renovation, architectural and engineering fees, and fire marshal review fees.
Board member Steve Morgan asked architect Templeton if it would be possible to just build what they currently have in the dome. “Do we build more than we have or do we rebuild what is there?” he asked.
Board member Dawn Robinson reiterated Mr. Morgan’s concern saying that the City Council wants a bottom line on the low end of the cost spectrum. Board member Peggy Pesterfield said, “They (City Council members) want something that’s going to serve the entire community.”
Cleveland High Principal Autumn O’Bryan said that while just rebuilding what was lost in the dome would work for now, it is not a long term solution, “We don’t have a lot of room for growth.”
As it stands the school is short classroom space for wellness and physical education courses. The major debate lies in whether or not to expand the gymnasium or to simply rebuild what was lost with some updates to bring the structure up to current code standards.
Board member Dr. Murl Dirksen suggested that the council be given two or three options. In the end, the board asked architect Templeton to prepare for the City Council a bare minimum plan that would include 1,500 stadium seats and four classrooms and a second more ideal plan that would include more seating, classrooms, and spaces for auxiliary use.
Cleveland City School Board members, from left, George Meacham, Dr. Murl Dirksen, Dawn Robinson and Steve Morgan.
- Photo2 by Tony Eubank