November 3, 2023
The Beachwood Board of Education is evaluating a proposal to combine the Fairmount Early Childhood Center with the new Bryden Elementary, currently under design as part of a $65 million elementary facilities master plan approved by Beachwood voters in May 2023.
During a public study session held October 30, ThenDesign Architecture presented a proposal for preschool integration. The plan includes a dedicated preschool wing featuring six classrooms and a special "large muscle room," where children develop gross motor skills. The proposed wing would accommodate approximately 80 preschool students from Beachwood and nearby communities.
The current elementary facilities plan budgets $4.9 million to renovate the existing Fairmount Early Childhood Center. However, the new proposal estimates the construction of the new preschool wing at Bryden at a slightly lower cost of $4.1 million.
Potential advantages include a seamless transition for students from preschool to kindergarten, shared facility usage, elimination of inter-building travel for staff, simplified drop-off and pick-up logistics for parents, and enhanced collaboration opportunities between preschool and K-2 staff.
Discussions are ongoing about the future use of the existing Fairmount building. However, the building will continue to house the preschool summer camp due to its proximity to the Beachwood Family Aquatic Center. Other potential uses include staff training, testing, English as a second language and citizenship classes in association with Cuyahoga County Library, collaboration with the City of Beachwood’s Recreation Department, and meeting spaces for civic groups and organizations.
To gather public input, the Board of Education has posted a survey encouraging community members to offer their insights on the facility designs. Additionally, a community input session will take place December 5, from 7 - 8:30 p.m., at the Beachwood Board of Education office (24601 Fairmount Blvd.) Free childcare will be provided.
Watch the full meeting: