New Campus of Wickliffe brings the city to the forefront of what modern school should look like
BY TIM SHIRER
Friday afternoon the Lake County Sentinel had a chance to tour the new Campus of Wickliffe. The new campus, which will be the new Pre-K thru 12 campus for Wickliffe City Schools, is replacing Wickliffe Elementary, Wickliffe Middle and Wickliffe High School.
The three schools that are being replaced were a combined 260+ years old. The Middle School opened in the early 1900’s, the Elementary School opened in 1923 and the High School in 1958.
The ribbon cutting for the new campus will be on Saturday morning August 26th at 11 am. Anyone who attends the ribbon cutting will have a chance to tour the new school which features all the modern amenities needed in a school in 2023 and the future.
The cafeteria and open space areas is the first thing you see when you enter the school. There is a spirt shop and a concession area which will be opened during sporting and some other events which is something new to Wickliffe. It replaces the table in the cafeteria which was used for concessions at the old high school.
The school has two gymnasiums located at the south end of the school near the football field, a competition gym, and a smaller gym. The two gyms are divided by a movable wall and when it’s opened as one the length from one end to other is enormous. You could fit the entire football field inside the gym. The competition gym holds 1,200 spectators. There is also an auditorium near the gyms that seats 500 and has 12 spaces for wheelchairs or temporary seats. The stage in the auditorium is huge. It will host band and choir concerts and the Wickliffe tradition “Rockefeller Road Revue” also known as “Rock”.
The educational part of the school is divided into basically two sections. Pre-K thru 6th grade are on the first floor and 7th thru 12th grade are located on the second floor of the spacious campus.
The areas for the “Upper School” are divided by the different areas of studies and there are many common areas for students to study instead of sitting in study hall. Wickliffe City School Superintendent Joseph Spiccia, who gave us the tour, said they put a lot of thought into the things that would make it a more enjoyable environment for the students to learn and for the staff to teach. One of the things that was most impressive was that there is an EMT classroom for students who want to enter this field. It is equipped with a full-sized ambulance (without the motor and wheels).
Each room in the school has either a 65 inch or 85 in monitor which has technology to allow a teacher who is in one part of the school to show what they are working on to a class in another part of the school. Which in the collaborative areas which there are many throughout the school. One of the things that was impressive was the stairs leading to the upper school from the lobby/cafeteria area where they have spots where students can sit during study halls. There is also a coffee shop at the top of the stairs that will be open during school hours except during change of classes.
Another unique feature of the Upper School is the counselors’ offices which are not located in the main office like in most traditional high schools. The counselor’s office are located on the other side of the school on the second floor. Spiccia said that this is for privacy, so the students feel more comfortable visiting the counselor’s office without everyone who enters the main office knowing they have done so.
The Pre-K thru 6th grade first floor very much had the positive elementary school feel the rooms were already decorated by the staff with cheering message and welcome signs for the students. Spiccia jokingly commented as we walked by the 6th grade wing that it looked like the 5th and 6th grade staff were competing for the best welcome sign.
There are three playgrounds. One of the playgrounds is located by the Pre-K area and will be used for Pre-K students and 1st grade. Another two playgrounds are located at the other end of the school near the gyms.
The parking lot is about halfway finished and work on a driveway for dropping off students still has to be completed once the old high school demolition is completed.
There will also be a new softball and baseball field which is also new to Wickliffe as the softball and baseball fields have never been located on the school campuses.
One thing was clear touring the new campus is that it will be a great place for the students to learn, lead and serve (Wickliffe City Schools motto) and really nice place for the staff to work, which is something both students and staff deserve.
POSTED 08/25/2023 16:31