Making the Grade
Exterior, HVAC upgrades elevate learning environment at Lutheran High School East By Dan Holland | Photos by Scott Esterly
or decades, Lutheran High School East has provided a well-rounded curriculum and high performing extracurricular programs, but a couple years back, it was decided that the aging school building was due for a significant refresh, says Chris Steinmann, superintendent/CEO of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association. “Our goal was to modernize the exterior of the building so that it would look as good as the education that we are providing inside the building,” says Steinmann of the school building at 3565 Mayfield Rd. in Cleveland Heights, which originally opened in 1959 and serves grades 9-12. “And we wanted to bring in air conditioning throughout the entire building, so we would finally have a modern, comfortable building for our 370 or so students.” To meet its goals, the school hired Meraki Architects of Middleburg Heights as the design team along with Carey Construction Group of LaGrange in September 2022. A team of subcontractors was assembled in early 2023, with much of the work being performed during summer 2023. Substantial completion was achieved in time to reopen for the 2023-24 school year. 42
Financing for the $3.9 million update came from a combination of grant money, a construction loan from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund and a capital fundraising campaign, according to Steinmann.
“Our goal was to modernize the exterior of the building so that it would look as good as the education that we are providing inside the building.” Chris Steinmann Cleveland Lutheran High School Association “To date, we’re somewhere around $2.8 million dollars raised, which leaves a gap of $1.1 million dollars,” Steinmann explains. “Our goal was always to get it down to a million dol-
lars or less and have a mortgage for the remainder.”
Meraki Architects was tasked with reconfiguring and replacing the original single-pane curtain wall system and adding a new metal panel system to the exterior. The new window system consists of double-pane, insulated glass with low-E glazing designed to reduce solar heat gain in the classrooms, according to Rick Jozity, principal at Meraki Architects. “With the original curtain wall system being single pane, temperatures inside the classrooms, especially on the south side of the building, would sometimes reach over 100 degrees, making it a difficult learning environment,” says Jozity. In addition to adding comfort and energy efficiency, the new system transProperties | November 2023