School District Buys Land Adjacent to High School
After an emergency meeting held Jan. 25th, the Beachwood School District approved a $150,000 dollar purchase of two properties adjacent to the Richmond Road entrance to BHS. The two properties are approximately 47,000 square feet including an empty lot and a house that will be demolished.
“[The Board of Education] thought [the purchase] was an opportunity to use the house [to emphasize the] prominence of the school,” explained Principal Robert Hardis. “The property went up for sale after the owner passed away, and it’s on a very large lot for Beachwood.”
The current entrance on Richmond Road is a tight two-lane drive. With the acquisition of the two lots, the district’s intentions are to expand this space.
“The house will be demolished and the hope is that we will have a three-lane entryway with two ways out, one for left turns, one for right turns and one for coming in,” said Hardis.
With a 36.5 million dollar renovation underway, the previous 100/200 halls will be demolished over the summer. Hardis hopes that in this process the purchased home can be torn down as well. This will hopefully make the new entrance available for the upcoming school year.
“The expansion of the driveway will enhance safety with better traffic flow and readier access to emergency vehicles coming and going,” explained Superintendent Dr. Richard Markwardt.
Markwardt added that the remaining land, not used to build the driveway, will be landscaped.
Beachwood residents can expect to see the remodeled high school more prominently from Richmond rd. after this procedure is complete.
Students and parents should not be concerned about safety. “There are no specific safety issues being compromised,” explained Hardis. “If there were the police would say why are you doing this, it’s a step in the wrong direction, but the police hasn’t brought it up.”
The $150,000 dollars spent on this project will come out of the permanent improvements fund. Other than some minor maintenance improvements that will be postponed, this project will not draw funding from any other budget. Richmond Rd. will also be under construction this summer, which might decrease expenses related to the new driveway.
The Board of Ed. expects to close the deal by Feb. 24.
“The city is helping us to navigate the zoning issues required to construct the driveway. That process will probably take a minimum of sixty days,” explained Markwardt. “[This purchase will] afford a more attractive, welcoming entrance to our renovated high school. By doing so, it will help to showcase the pride that this community feels for its schools.”