May 7, 2009 (COLUMBUS) At a joint press conference with Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory and Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan, Ohio School Facilities Commission Executive Director Michael Shoemaker announced that the Commission had agreed to revise that district’s Master Facilities Plan to reflect higher-than-projected student enrollment. Shoemaker, Ronan and Mallory said the new plan calls for a projected student population of 32,687 students — an increase of nearly 3,500 students over previous projections.
Director Shoemaker called the projected enrollment growth, “a huge positive indicator for both Cincinnati Public Schools’ educational program and for Ohio’s school construction program. We’re optimistic that this enrollment trend will continue as parents in Cincinnati and other urban districts across the state see how their children benefit from technology-ready, high-quality school facilities,” Shoemaker said.
“Cincinnati Public Schools has turned the tide on enrollment, and we now are moving in the right direction,” Superintendent Ronan said. “Our students’ academic performance along with our graduation rate are rising, too, as we welcome more families back to CPS.”
Mayor Mark Mallory noted that the city and the school district are partners in bringing new population growth to the area.
“For the first time in 50 years, Cincinnati’s population is growing and that is having a positive effect on CPS’ enrollment,” Mayor Mallory said. “As we complete new and renovated schools throughout our city, they will strengthen our efforts to revitalize our neighborhoods and lead to even further growth in our population.”
Presenting a mock check representing Ohio’s share of the supplemental project cost, Shoemaker added, “the revised plan means the state will be providing an additional $20 million toward the approximately $89-million increase to the projected cost of the Cincinnati building program.”
“This additional investment in the educational facilities for our children is also a huge investment in the economic future of Ohio,” Shoemaker said.
Additionally, Shoemaker announced that the OSFC had approved CPS’ proposal to fully renovate the Rothenberg building in the city’s Over-the-Rhine district. Rothenberg, built in 1914 and designated a historic building, originally was scheduled for replacement. Shoemaker stated that the Commission “is committed to co-funding the renovation of Rothenberg.”
“Our commitment of funding will equal what would have been the state’s cost to replace this school. Our action will help preserve this historic building for this historic neighborhood," Shoemaker said.
(From left: Mayor Mallory, OSFC Executive Director Shoemaker, School Superintendent Ronan, and School Board member Catherine Ingram)