Because of the fire department’s rapid response and strategies, the blaze was largely confined to the roof.
Things could have been much worse. Although water damage was substantial, the bones of the building stood
strong, waiting to be rebuilt.
Flash forward two years. Like the mythical phoenix, Fernway has emerged from the ashes, bigger, better, and more
beautiful than ever. Today’s Fernway is a modern 21st-century learning center wrapped in the facade of a dignified 1927
schoolhouse that preserves memories of great teaching and learning for generations of Shaker residents.
Fernway stands proudly as the first “new” school building in Shaker Heights in 63 years. The two-story building
features spacious, modern classrooms as well as state-of-the art music and art rooms. The addition on the southeast
side of the building contains an elevator, making the school’s upper floors accessible to students and staff with
disabilities. White and gray terrazzo tiles line the wide, well-lighted hallways, setting off modern blue lockers.
Classrooms are equipped with flexible furniture – chairs and tables that can be reconfigured and rearranged to
accommodate collaborative team learning.
A sprawling multi-purpose room doubles duty for assemblies and lunch, a perk that Fernway students -- who
always ate at their desks – had never enjoyed. The library has been transformed into a state-of-the-art learning
center that includes a “maker space” where students can collaborate, build, and create as part of the District’s i3
initiative – which supports inquiry, innovation, and imagination with a focus on hands-on learning – and STEAM
(science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics).
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