Return to Headlines

John P. Parker School, Shroder High School Receive Makeovers

Transformed PlayscapeJohn P. Parker School and Shroder High School students will see amazing renovations when they return to class on August 17, thanks to more than 500 volunteers, community members and partners rolling up their sleeves during the 2023 Community Makeover in Madisonville July 27. 

In its 14th year, the annual makeover brings together some of Cincinnati’s most historic and iconic institutions with local community partners to make a transformative and sustainable impact on a Greater Cincinnati neighborhood. 

Madisonville was selected by the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund, in part due to its strong neighborhood schools. 

“We are excited to get to work in Madisonville this summer for another Community Makeover,” Reds Community Fund executive director Charley Frank said. “This is an ideal community with so many positive changes already underway.”

The 2023 Community Makeover’s signature project was a nature playscape and outdoor classroom at John P. Parker School. 

“We partner with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; this would not be possible without them,” said Procter & Gamble Co. media manager and volunteer Tiffany Murphy. “There is a ton of work being done here today and it takes about a year for us to plan.” 

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s horticulture team helped oversee and organize landscaping for the new playscapes,  including logs and boulders, pollinator and butterfly gardens and a 60-foot flower archway tunnel.

The elementary campus will also benefit from a new STEM lab with solar panels made possible by GE Aerospace Co. and  SonLight Power, a renovated nurse’s room and more.

Murphy also credits the John P. Parker staff for the project’s success. “They have been amazing partners. They’re really the ones who heled us identify what’s going to be best for the school and the kids.”

Local artist Brent Billingsley led the indoor efforts at Shroder High School, where volunteers helped him turn a mural idea into a reality.

Billingsley describes his work as, “therapeutic artistic engagement,” and believes in using art to cope with anxiety and depression. He says that art is his superpower as he seeks help and input from community members he creates for. However, this project was more inspired more by what Shroder High School didn’t yet have.

“I walked through the school and I said, ‘you guys are the Jaguars, but I don’t see a jungle,’” Billingsley noted.

Now, the Jaguars have their jungle, some personality reflected throughout their hallways, and a new outdoor learning and gathering space.

Other community renovations took place at Madisonville Education & Assistance Center, Bramble Park and the Madisonville Recreation Center.

“The end result is going to be breathtaking, these are some remarkable additions,” Frank said.