Lakewood OH

New schools on time, on budget

A construction vehicle drives through the rotunda of the new Westlake High School. In the background is the existing Performing Arts Center, which will be attached to the new building.

By Kevin Kelley


Lee Burneson Middle School Principal Paul Wilson is happy that the music classrooms in the school district’s new middle school are not physically close to other classrooms. That way, students in social studies class won’t be distracted when band members start playing their instruments.

Wilson and about a dozen of his teachers toured the construction site of the new middle school Thursday.

“It’s exciting to see the progress,” said Wilson, who is in his third year as principal at Lee Burneson. “The layout is fantastic.”

The new, larger middle school will give Wilson and his teachers more space and flexibility, he added.

Today at around noon, Wilson will be given the honor of nailing the final roofing board at the new building. The ceremony represents an intermediate point in the construction process – one that signifies the structure has been sealed off from the


According to Dave Puffer, construction supervisor for the Westlake City Schools, work on the new middle school is on time and on budget. So is work on the new Westlake High School. Both new school buildings, being built adjacent to their current

predecessors, will open their doors to students in September 2013. In addition, the current middle school will be renovated to house grades five and six just over a year from now.

Work is further along at the new middle school than at the new high school. But, as of last month, 80 percent of the concrete had been poured for the building, and the walls of the new main and auxiliary gymnasiums had been completed.

Only a couple of days of construction work were lost due to Superstorm Sandy, Puffer said. “We had a lot of inside work we were able to do then,” he said.

In May 2010, Westlake voters passed, by a 55.4 to 44.6 percent margin, an $84 million bond issue to pay for the new schools. Homeowners are paying an additional $8.68 per month for every $100,000 in home value for the construction program.




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