In January 2005, the first new school building constructed within Cincinnati Public Schools in more than two decades opened - a new home for Rockdale Academy in Avondale - and launched a decade of groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings for CPS.
The $1-billion Facilities Master Plan (FMP) - started in 2003 and completed in 2014 - was developed jointly by Cincinnati Public Schools and the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC), the state agency directing a statewide campaign to upgrade all Ohio school buildings. The state contributed about 23 percent of CPS' eligible cost. Much of the remaining cost was funded by a $480-million, school-construction bond issue approved by voters in May 2003, plus money from other local and state sources.
To be as cost efficient as possible, CPS used bulk purchasing to buy furniture and other major equipment for new and renovated school buildings. The savings from bulk purchasing was used to offset cost increases in other areas of the FMP.
A vital component of the Facilities Master Plan was the goal of building enough quality classrooms to serve all CPS students without creating costly extra space. The plan was designed as a flexible document in terms of the final building count, with enrollment projections playing a key role in determining the number of schools CPS would operate by the plan's finish.
CPS' goal while rebuilding and renovating its buildings was to create schools as Community Learning Centers. The community was invited to help design each facility to incorporate partnerships with numerous businesses, the arts community and social service agencies to provide services to students and adults during the school day and beyond.