Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Sun, 09/30/2012 - 23:54.



10.0pt">WHY A HUNGER  STRIKE TO SAVE JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL? mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt">

City Hall has meted out gross injustice -- through sustained & collusive inaction, and vote rigging – to over 2,400 petitioners who want to SAVE JOHN MARSHALL HIGH SCHOOL.

Councilman Sweeney (also City Council President) rigged the 5 to 4 vote to demolish landmarked historic 80-year old John Marshall at the January 12, 2012 Cleveland Landmarks Commission meeting.

The Chief Architect of the City of Cleveland (with the title of Manager of Architecture) who should be preserving and protecting our landmarks -- voted to demolish our architectural gem. Mayor Jackson took no action when the vote rigging and other irregularities were brought to his attention.

For example, at the January 12, 2012 Cleveland Landmarks Commission meeting, despite repeated requests, the Chair refused to let me respond to inaccuracies in the financial numbers, on behalf of petitioners, while the School District, their Architect, and Councilman Sweeney were free to get up and interject at any time.

CMSD CEO Gordon provided the first response to request for information after 11 reminders spread over 8 months – a response which unfortunately does not address errors in the financial numbers nor provide requested critical information. Again, Mayor Jackson took no corrective action when the delay in supplying the information needed to SAVE JOHN MARSHALL was brought to his honor’s attention.

A response from Mayor Jackson regarding his accountability on the $50 million JMHS project in the context of his statement that he has never lied to us – is pending since April 5, 2012 – despite 24 reminders.

Sustained stonewalling from City Hall and the School District: running out the clock with incessant delays extending into months, reminder after reminder after reminder, legal gobbledygook; absence of honesty, trust, and accountability.

Meanwhile the School District is getting ready to demolish our architectural gem – having installed the infamous chain-link fence, around John Marshall -- also known as “Jackson & Sweeney’s Folly”.

That is why there will be a Hunger Strike to SAVE JOHN MARSHALL – to save our architectural gem, auditorium, underground running tracks, and the swimming pool.

A Hunger Strike is a Cry for Justice when due process is denied to citizens who have neither power nor wealth.


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Historic John Marshall High School (opened in 1932) is an integral part of our community’s heritage. It is a temple of learning. For the past 80 years, it has served thousands of high school students who have studied subjects like English literature, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics, Art, Music, Social Studies, and others within its four walls. George M. Hopkinson, the architect, enshrined the temple with architectural elements from Ancient Greece – the civilization that gave us the great idea of Democracy, famous philosophers like Plato and Socrates, scientists like Archimedes, and Mathematicians like Euclid and Pythagoras (c2 = a2 + b2). It is a visual beacon for the multitude of residents who view it from their homes or walk, or drive past it on West 140th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

The CMSD (Cleveland Metropolitan School District) wants to build a New School and destroy our 80-year old architectural gem, Auditorium, Underground Running Tracks, and Swimming Pool.  Over 2,400 petitioners want to renovate John Marshall similar to the renovation of landmarked 83-year old John Hay (renovation completed in 2006) and 80-year old Rhodes (renovation completed in 2009) High Schools.

80-year historic John Marshall High School was designed by George M. Hopkinson – the British born architect who also designed 17 landmark schools in Cleveland – including 83-year old John Hay and 80-year Rhodes High Schools.

John Marshall High School’s auditorium is used for the performing arts by young artists. The underground tracks– reminiscent of the Roman catacombs, and the swimming pool – are used both by young athletes and the community.

The School District claims a new school will be cheaper – but will not say – it is cheaper only in an apples-to-oranges comparison – as the new school in addition to destroying our heritage – will not have an Auditorium, Underground Tracks, or a Swimming Pool. The District is not providing information explaining errors in their financial numbers or how they were able to renovate John Hay and Rhodes High Schools without destroying them. While the existing school has held up to 3,000 students – the new school will hold 1,200 students.

The JMHS Construction Project is being funded through a bond issue – 2/3rd of the funds come from OSFC (Ohio State Facilities Commission) and 1/3rd from the City of Cleveland.


what is the cost of a renovation?

I always wonder why it is cheaper to tear down and build new buildings. So what is the cost of renovating the building only?


There are errors in the financial numbers presented by the School District which show it is cheaper to build a new school than renovate the existing historic building.

The School District has not clarified the errors despite multiple requests.

The School District is making an apples-to-oranges comparison -- as the new school will not have an auditorium, underground running tracks, or a swimming pool.

In addition, while the new school is for 1,200 students and has a smaller total area (nearly 200,000 square feet) -- the existing school has held up to 3,000 students -- and has an area varying from 250,000 to 300,000 square feet -- which is the correct number -- we still don't know.

For the new school -- the cost is nearly $220 per square foot vs. $150 per square foot for renovation.

The School District has sucessfully renovated 83-year old John Hay (renovation completed in 2006) and 80-year old Rhodes (renovation completed in 2009) -- but will not give us the necessary comparative information for the renovated schools.

It took the School District 8 months and 11 reminders to respond to the first request for information -- and they have not addressed a lot of the issues.

The School District by not providing the requested information in a timely manner -- is deliberately trying to run out the clock -- and this has been done with collusion from Mayor Jackson and Councilman Sweeney -- which is one of the reasons for the CALL FOR A HUNGER STRIKE.