Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Schools' fix-up at top of list

While overall plan is developed, priority projects to begin

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Renovations at six Cincinnati public schools, new windows for 31 schools and studies of alternative sites for Sands Montessori are on the fast track.

        The facilities committee of the Board of Education Monday recommended that the full board approve eight priority projects at its March 26 meeting.

        A go-ahead from the board would allow the administration to begin working on concrete plans and cost estimates before a guide for all 75 schools is finalized in December, said Michael Burson, facilities manager.

        “None of these things are cut and dry,” Mr. Burson said. “We are asking for the initial step to get things going.”

        Committee members Harriet Russell, Florence Newell and Lynn Marmer removed renovations at the empty Roll Hill School from the list because “other schools are in worse condition,” Mrs. Marmer said.

“We have 40,000 kids in substandard housing, and we need to bring them all up to standard housing,” Mrs. Marmer said. “We don't have the money to go Cadillac. There comes a certain point where a Chevy drives just fine.”

        The priority projects include:

        • Window and door replacements at 31 schools.

        • Renovate Porter School to house a 4-8 Cincinnati Academy of Math and Science program, to open in August 2002.

        • Cosmetic renovations of about $450,000 at the Bou dinot Avenue Dater building to house the Carson Montessori program.

        • Renovations at the current Carson Montessori building to house a neighborhood school.

        • Renovations and an expansion at Rockdale School to provide more classroom space and a health center in partnership with Children's Hospital Medical Center.

        • Explore alternative sites for Sands Montessori.

        • Renovations at Taft High School to house an information technology program for juniors and seniors, beginning August 2001. Renovations at Aiken High School as scheduled, which include a new roof, paving and new stadium lights.

        • Evaluation of the Whittier Annex site to see whether a new elementary school could be built where the former Considine School now stands.


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