When the reimagined Euclid High School opens its doors in 2020, the new building will combine the city’s middle and high schools—educating a total of 2,500 to 2,800 students. However, that’s just a small fraction of the number of Euclidians that the facility will ultimately serve, according to Pat Higley, director of business operations for Euclid City Schools.
“We’re hugely focused on making this a community campus,” says Higley of the 650,000-square-foot project. “The high school has already become what we call an ’18-hour campus,’ and once we’re done with these buildings, it will be even more of a community hub.”
Future site of the new fieldhouseSo what does that look like in practice? For starters, the new school facility and “mega-campus” will open up numerous recreational outlets for Euclid residents.
A new 24,000-square-foot fieldhouse is being erected on the southeast side of the campus, housing three basketball courts, a suspended walking track, volleyball court, and more—filling a need that is even more pronounced since the YMCA of Greater Cleveland closed its Euclid location in May 2018. And though the project will take the school from two pools down to just one, Higley anticipates that the new pool will offer more hours available to the public.
“Our hope is to host walking programs and exercise classes throughout the day,” says Higley. “The idea is to give the community the opportunity to utilize the facilities they’re paying for [via taxes].”
The evolution of Euclid High School’s Career Tech program will also create new opportunities for community education and interaction. Next year marks the launch of a new construction trades program, with the goal of having students rehab and flip vacant homes in Euclid. The student-operated Euclid Culinary Bistro will relocate from Shore Cultural Centre to an on-campus restaurant that will be open to the public with expanded hours.
Additionally, the school’s award-winning welding program will welcome a new, 5,000-square-foot lab (formerly housed at Lincoln Electric), which Higley says may become available to the public for vocational training in the future.
The former entrance of the high school will soon be a remnant of the past.“Our first priority is to make sure the programs and spaces make sense for our students, but another top priority is asking how we can best impact the community,” says Higley.
The meshing of the middle school and high school will create new public assets in a different way, as the closing of the Central Middle School site will lead to the land being reclaimed and utilized by Cleveland Metroparks. “It will become an extension of the [Euclid Creek Reservation] right across the street, offering passive recreation in that area,” says Higley. “The ultimate goal is to create a pathway from that park all the way down to the lake.”
With the new school scheduled to debut for the 2020-2021 school year, it’s an exciting time for the people who’ve been working to bring the $123 million project to fruition since 2012.
“It’s been an extremely complex project, trying to create a new system while maintaining a very old system and trying to tie it all together for next August,” says Higley. “Our goal is to not only make our district strong, but to help improve and increase the strength of our community.”
This article is part of our On the Ground - Euclid community reporting project in partnership with City of Euclid, Euclid City Schools, Tri-C, and Cuyahoga County Board of Health. Read the rest of our coverage here.