Friday, March 09, 2001

Schools plan questioned

Board wants more details on facilities

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Public Schools' superintendent and his staff need to provide more details on new facility changes announced Thursday for 12 schools, a Board of Education committee said.

        The facilities committee told Michael Burson, facilities manager, to provide more thorough information on new updates to the district's February 1999 Facilities Master Plan, which outlines needs and plans for the district's 75 schools.

Details at retreat

        “There's an urgency here that must not be overlooked,” said Harriet Russell, the board member who chairs the facilities committee. “There is a need to reduce and eliminate the vagueness so that the entire community knows there is a list of projects approved by the board.”

        Overall, buildings need $700 million in repairs and upgrades, according to previous studies.

        The full board will get more details at a March 15 retreat. The board could vote on some items at its March 26 regular meeting.

        New suggestions for which the committee wants more explanation:

        • Crest Hills: Close at end of year. Renovate into a military academy, or use as extra space while Withrow High is renovated.

        • Fairview: Keep as German magnet school and renovate, or relocate to renovated and expanded Clifton primary building.

        • Hartwell: Renovate for use as K-10 building.

        • Schwab: Renovate for possible use by Winton Montessori.

        • Winton Montessori: Renovate. Relocate program to Winton Place, Schwab, or primary building at Clifton.

        • Winton Place: Renovate. Use location for Montessori program.

        • Rothenberg: Use as extra space in Over The Rhine. Renovate if building will continue to be used.

        • Porter: Use as extra space until decisions made on building use.

        • Sands: Move program to the renovated Hyde Park School.

        • Washburn: Consider for use as an Edison School.

        • Washington Park: Demolish and build new facility on same site.

        • Hyde Park: Renovate and build addition for use by Sands Montessori. Relocate students to other neighborhood schools.

Priority project

        The committee listed several projects as priorities for financing, which will require full board approval: new windows and doors at 10 schools and renovations at Rockdale, Roll Hill and Taft.

        Recommendations also include plans to renovate Aiken, Hughes, Taft, Walnut Hills, Western Hills, Withrow and Woodward high schools to accommodate new and existing programs.


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