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Richmond Heights, Ohio is a small inner-ring suburb of Cleveland. The city is approximately 4 square miles in area with approximately 10,000 residents. County auditor records show that the city is contracting. The Richmond Heights Local School Board is proposing a vision that could be the catalyst for resurgence. With a growing population of residents that are over 45, the schools are proposing to build not only new learning spaces for students in grades 7-12, but also a county library, dedicated senior citizens spaces and a community multipurpose space. The ability to attract families with children is a necessary force if a community is to begin to grow.
The current secondary school was built in 1921 and has had several additions, with the 1971 gym being the latest upgrade. The district spends hundreds of thousands of dollars just repairing and maintaining these aged facilities. The most recent repairs included a water main break, upgrades to the fire alarm system, frozen pipes that then burst, failed boilers and ceiling tiles collapsing onto students. The city of Richmond Heights, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year is experiencing property value loss which means less property tax to the school district's budget. The school district does not qualify for any substantial amount of support from the state department's building fund (OFCC).
Richmond Heights School District currently has the lowest total millage of all of its neighboring school districts. Even with the additional 12 mills to build the new community learning center it will still be lower than all but one neighboring district. The academic vision within the new facility is to make the Richmond Heights Secondary School the Aviation Program within the Excel TECC Consortium since their lies a natural partner with the Cuyahoga County Airport which directly borders the school to the north. There is already a commitment by the Cuyahoga County Library System to co-locate and operate the Richmond Heights County Library out of the new Community Learning Center. The cost for this project is $27 million and would cost the homeowner of $100,000 the price of a daily cup of coffee ($1.16).