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Cardinal Community Learning Center Open for Business

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By Darrin J. Cook

On July 19, a tour of the Cardinal Intermediate School (CIS) building, now the Cardinal Community Learning Center (CCLC), was arranged through the Middlefield Chamber of Commerce. Members of the chamber and community gathered in a large meeting room to begin the tour and were greeted by board members Linda Smallwood, Barb Rayburn, and the Superintendent Bill Kermavner. The tour lasted over an hour, providing many details about the CCLC building’s past, present and future use. The Board was prepared to answer all questions and were excited to show the building and progress made over the past year. Here are five key areas of interest taken from the tour. 

Focus on the Community: Superintendent Bill Kermavner and the other Board members stressed that the focus was on the community, so are open to suggestions. “Some construction is on hold, waiting to fulfill the needs of a future tenant.” He went on to say that fiscal responsibility is key so it doesn’t make sense to complete some of the construction without knowing the needs of the community. He added that the building is ADA compliant for those with disabilities.

Impressive Upgrades: The first room on the tour was a large, newly painted and carpeted meeting room. Most of the group reminisced about this room when it was the gym and stage. It would convert nicely into a large conference room, complete with dividers that open and close electronically. The room can hold nearly 300 people and tables and chairs are available to comfortably seat 200. The alumni who were present were happy to discover some of the old floors were restored and incorporated into the design, but there was also a lot of fresh paint and new carpeting. An executive conference room was fitted with a large conference table, comfortable chairs, a podium, a whiteboard, a complete kitchen and additional tables and chairs. This room can accommodate up to 25 people. Air conditioning, audio/video, internet, and all the accessories needed to hold a conference are available for all of the meeting spaces. Although lighting has been upgraded, many of the rooms provide plenty of natural lighting, with the option to draw shades if needed. A fully functional elevator accesses all of the floors, making all of the rooms easily accessible for catering, meeting equipment and items not easily transported via the stairway. The board made it clear that much credit needed to be given to Brian Kelly (Maintenance Supervisor) and his crew. They have been working tirelessly to keep as many of the repairs in-house as possible, such as recessing the old plumbing and other projects. Any of the work beyond their capabilities were outsourced to local contractors.

Tenants Already in Place: Family Pride currently rents a newly renovated room with talk of expanding. Available offices will occupy quickly considering the prime location, new amenities, and fresh look. 

Comfortable Classrooms: Thanks to the community and alumni, students can spend class periods in the renovated science lab doing experiments with teachers and district science consultant, “Professor Z”. There is a Teaching and Learning lab with plenty of work space and comfortable seating that could be easily rearranged to accommodate any type of class. The superintendent stated that new Chromebook laptops are slated to be donated. These laptops are a necessary item for access to online learning applications.

CCLC is One of Three Major Capital Improvement Projects: In addition to converting the CIS building into a modern meeting and office facility, Cardinal Schools is also using (COP) Certificate of Participation bond money and substantial Alumni donations to install a new sound system, update the bleachers, and add an all weather track in the football stadium area. If money remains after these projects are complete, it will be applied to the remaining stadium upgrades, which include restrooms and concessions. Portions of this money were also spent on new double pane windows throughout the high school, and all windows at the elementary school with exception to the west side. The board felt the west side windows were in good condition and not in need of replacement. Lastly, remaining roofing repairs will be bid out this winter for 2020. The superintendent felt that putting bids out in the winter would result in more competitive pricing.  Lastly, a state-of-the-art PHabLab where the CMS library use to be is near completion. It is here that students will use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts for learning. The PHabLab will feature, among other things, 3D and large format printers, as well as an interactive whiteboard called a jamboard. Project updates are available by visiting the Cardinal Schools website, https://cardinalschools.org/.

Superintendent Kermavner (second from left)speaks with the tour group in the large meeting/conference room in the newly renovated CCLC building (MP Photo/Darrin J. Cook).

It is clear, with all of the projects going and the revenue opportunities coming to fruition by way of the CCLC building, the Board stands focused, energetic, and committed to making this school system the best it can be. If you are interested in learning more about leasing office space or reserving a meeting room, contact Kristie Steyer at 440-632-0261, ext. 1000 or kristie.steyer@cardinalschools.org.

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