New Fence Being Constructed

Clarion photo Anna Suydam
Temporary fencing around the breezeway by German and Mandarin portables next to the east wing.

If you’ve spent any time outside Cleveland’s east wing or the entrances to the gym in the last couple of months, you’ve likely seen the haphazard chain-link fence, labeled “DANGER: Construction Area, Keep Out,” despite the fact that there is no construction to be seen. This temporary fence precedes a permanent one, but it’s not yet certain when building can start.
Since the 2020-21 school year, Cleveland has been planning to have a fence constructed around the east side of the campus, beginning around the parking lot where the portable classrooms are located off 28th Avenue and ending just north of the gymnasium off Franklin Avenue.
Due to the challenges of having a high school campus in the middle of a major city block, it’s been deemed necessary to create a more secure boundary between Cleveland and the outside world. This would mean fence gates where students could swipe their ID cards to enter, and unlocked doors, easing some of the bitter hallway traffic on the third floor of the east wing.
The project, in the words of Vice Principal Danielle Cota, “aims to help Cleveland be more sustainable in terms of movement and safety.”
Construction will start as soon as supplies are available, but it’s unclear when that will be. The materials are still being processed through the backed-up supply chain that has been under stress throughout the pandemic. There is also no set estimate yet for how long construction will take.
This fence is being funded through the School Building Improvement Bond, a reminder of the unfortunate fact that Cleveland is not due for renovation for another few years.
“It’s sort of an acknowledgement from the district that we have this need, and we’re not getting the remodel right away, so we need something to keep the campus a bit more secure,” said Cota.