Amid much fanfare in January 2005, Cincinnati Public Schools opened its first new school building constructed in more than two decades - a new Rockdale Academy in Avondale - marking the first of many ribboncuttings during a decade of building and renovation for CPS.
The $1-billion Facilities Master Plan (FMP) - launched 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.
In all, the FMP created 34 new state-of-the-art school buildings and completely renovated 16 school buildings to bring them up to and beyond state standards. All CPS schools now feature modern and effecient heating and air-conditioning systems; updated wiring and technology to serve today's educational needs; cafeteria, performance and playground spaces; community rooms; bus turn-around areas and larger parking lots - and a vibe that says our community cares about education.
In addition, the FMP allowed CPS to design its schools as Community Learning Centers that serve now as hubs offering services and activities to the surrounding neighborhoods. Each school community was invited to help design the new or renovaed school buildings to incorporate partnerships with businesses, the arts community and social service agencies to provide services to students and adults during the school day and beyond.