The Intergenerational School
, a high-performing charter school that is part of the Breakthrough Schools
network, recently signed on to become part of the redeveloped Saint Luke's Hospital campus at Shaker Boulevard and E. 116th Street.
The highly-rated school, which has operated out of the nearby Fairhill Center for the past decade, will have the opportunity to grow within the Buckeye-Shaker Square community, customize classroom space to meet their unique needs and engage the seniors living at Saint Luke's.
"It's a great school and this will be a catalytic project for the community," says Joel Ratner, President of Neighborhood Progress Incorporated
(NPI), the nonprofit developer of the Saint Luke's project. "Their model is to create intergenerational learning opportunities for kids, and now they'll be able to physically do that."
TIS is part of Phase III of the Saint Luke's project, says Ratner. Phases I and II are low-income senior housing. This final phase will complete the redevelopment of the historic, red brick hospital, which has been badly vandalized since it closed over a decade ago. Ratner also expects the Boys and Girls Club to open a small space in the building, and NPI will move its office headquarters there, as well.
NPI is now in a frantic push to complete the project by July 1, 2013 so that TIS can move in before the start of the 2013-2014 school year. The organization must raise another $3 million by May of next year in order to make that happen.
So far, the Cleveland Foundation, Saint Luke's Foundation and several private individuals have contributed to the project, which will cost a total of $6 million.
"We've already ordered the windows," says Ratner. "That alone was half a million dollars, including installation, because there are literally hundreds of custom windows. We're doing this project because it's the right thing to do."
Ratner also hopes the presence of TIS will help improve Harvey Rice School, a newly built K-8 school that is not performing well. "We'd like to get mentors there like they have at TIS, and potentially do programming together," says Ratner. "The Cleveland schools say they're open to it. This will be a huge lift."
Source: Joel Ratner
Writer: Lee Chilcote