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Cincinnati: Over-the-Rhine: School for the Creative & Performing Arts

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ARCHITECTURAL FOUNDATION OF CINCINNATI

HOSTS HARD-HAT TOUR OF SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS

September 22, 4:30 p.m.

 

CR architects + design, the architect of record for the new SCPA, and the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati will conduct a hard-hat tour of the impressive new facility being completed in Over-the-Rhine for SCPA. The new building has classrooms, studios, and performance halls that will house Cincinnati Public Schools nationally renowned SCPA program.  David Arends, CEO of CR and other architects will lead small group tours.  Following the 60-minute tour, participants are invited to adjourn to Lavomatic Restaurant (1211 Vine St.) for informal discussion with the architects.  Wear sturdy shoes and please bring your hard hat if you own one. Hard hats will be provided for those without.

 

Meet at Turner Construction Co. field office, 1112 Race Street just north of the Parkway. Parking available on street, at Gateway Garage, or lot opposite Lavomatic on Vine Street.

 

SCPA tour: September 22, 4:30 p.m.

FREE to AFC members, $10 others.

RESERVATIONS required: (513) 421-4469 or reserve@architecturecincy.org. Note hard hat needs.

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Tour shows off new SCPA

By Ben Fischer, Cincinnati Enquirer, September 22, 2009

 

OVER-THE-RHINE - It's starting to look a lot like a school.

 

The new School for Creative & Performing Arts - a vision for decades and a construction project for more than two years - is approaching its final stages of work before more than 1,350 students flow into its halls for the first time 11 months from now.

 

On Tuesday, the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati took the final public tour of the interior before it's closed off to allow for the last rush of work.

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SCPA won't be named for Kunzel

By Ben Fischer, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 23, 2009

 

CORRYVILLE – The new School for Creative & Performing Arts will not bear the name of Cincinnati Pops founder Erich Kunzel, the Cincinnati school board decided Monday – but its building might.

 

In a 4-3 vote, the school board rejected a proposal to rename the new school, which will combine the Schiel arts primary school and the current SCPA, after Kunzel.

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What's the status of this thing? Do we have any recent photos? Also, since it's rather odd that they left the back very empty, I wonder if they plan on using the space for future expansion... or I HOPE.

 

I'm curious how it looks with all the landscaping facing the park.

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It looks OK.  I don't think they could ever fit in an addition, they have the site pretty well full, except for the 20-space parking lot at 12tha nd Race.  They got a playground and basketball hoop closest to the park in the middle and then a completely blank ugly ass wall along Elm Street facing the Drop Inn Center.  The street lights are these strange vertical poles that give a good dynamic look to the street.  I'll try to post a photo or two of the back this weekend.

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http://www.cmw.osfc.state.oh.us/guest/photonoedit.cgi?1120014+2010-03

 

That's pretty awful.  At least they do have a decent entrance/exit on the north side, but it's still held way back off the sidewalk.  There's lots of room to build on if they need to in the future.  It doesn't surprise me though, there's "a few pieces of flare" on the front, but the rest is just plain schlock. 

 

It's better than the new Pleasant Ridge School though, that's an abomination, a total F-U to the community.  The old school was classy, a real "city" school.  The new one is just cheap suburban crap.  When they fix up old schools, they really do them up right (Hughes is looking awesome for instance).  Still, they're just as bad as UC when they decide to redline a building.  They let it completely fall to pieces in order to force the need for a new one.

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Unfortunately, I think a lot of school design today is shaped by the Columbine massacre and the general fear surrounding access to the schools. Most schools force all outsiders through one entry and prevent students from having easy access to let others in unguarded.

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Still, it's unacceptable to say "welcome to our school, look at our super-awesome air conditioning vents right next to the front door."  The SCPA in the same vein turns not only a surface parking lot to Washington Park, but also what appears to be a huge loading dock or garage entrance as well.  That's sad, and I say that not only as someone concerned for our city, but as an architect too. 

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There is a Trust document in place that mandates the building be used for educational purposes.  Not sure what the plan is to get around that. 

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With the real estate market heating up around Washington Park the opportunity exists for Cincinnati Public Schools to build luxury apartments on the excess SCPA land.  Some of you might remember the buildings CPS tore down for the new SCPA in 2008 that would be worth millions apiece in 2017.  School operations could be subsidized by revenue from several dozen market-rate apartments build on the 150x180-foot part of the lot currently wasted by surface parking for school staff. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1077706,-84.5164845,212m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

The space is 180x160, so enough to construct a small underground parking garage for staff and apartment residents.  The footprint of the apartment building itself would be pushed toward the NE corner of the block so as to retain the school's current playground space. 

 

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Or CPS could make an agreement with 3CDC to allow staff to parking in the Washington Park garage. I'm not sure what the school's hours are, but I assume most faculty and staff would be out of the garage in time to make room for the happy hour rush to OTR.

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It seems like CPS went out of its way with the 2004~ bond money to purchase tons of excess land around pretty much every new school.  Look at all of the unused land around this school in the West End:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.1067945,-84.5244024,363m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

Room for 50-100 apartments without structured parking and without touching the actual school. 

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^ I know a lot of suburban schools routinely buy way more land than they need initially because they have master plans that include additions. I have no idea if that's the case with these two schools, but it's possible they both have preliminary schematics for new wings to be added on the vacant land at some point in the future.

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