Cleveland Design Competition Comes Up with Fresh Visions for Cleveland International School

The competition is reaching a wider audience among young designers around the world

The 2011 competition, for which winners were announced Aug. 19, focused on ideas for the Campus International School in downtown Cleveland, a collaborative project of the Cleveland Municipal School District and Cleveland State University.

The international school, one of 17 Innovative Schools envisioned in the academic turnaround plan conceived by former Cleveland schools CEO Eugene Sanders, opened in August 2010 in temporary rented quarters in the First United Methodist Church at East 30th Street and Euclid Avenue.

The school, which had an enrollment of 126 in grades K-2 in its first year, is expected to grow by about 60 to 70 students a year as it chooses from a pool of applicants by lottery for each new class of entering kindergartners. It reserves 65 percent of its openings for children from Cleveland, 20 percent for families affiliated with CSU and 15 percent for children from Cleveland suburbs.

The organizers of the design competition refuse to go along — and they deserve enormous credit for trying to elevate local aspirations. They are Michael Christoff of the architecture and interior design firm Vocon, and Bradley Fink of Westlake Reed Leskosky. Both have yet to complete their architectural license exams, yet they have made a big contribution to civic life.