SCPA’s new building becoming more of a reality

A view of the future SCPA's Central Parkway Facade at night.

For months now a deal to move Cincinnati’s award-winning School for Creative and Performing Arts to the parking lot between the Central Parkway YMCA and Media Bridges in Over-the-Rhine has been touch and go. Though few have talked about it publicly, sources have told me everything from it’s a done deal to it would never happen.

I tended to believe that it would happen eventually (call it a hunch), but maybe in some modified version. Even when there was a groundbreaking and unveiling of a “coming soon” sign at the corner of Elm Street and Central Parkway in February depicting what the new building would look like, I knew there were still some major hurdles to jump over.

One of them – aside from some major funding issues – was what to do with the Drop Inn Center’s holding firm on not giving up the transitional housing it owns at the corner of 12th and Elm streets. Drop Inn’s managing director, Pat Clifford, told me about a year ago that no one had contacted him about the buildings after initial talks had stalled and he figured they had re-drawn plans to work around the Drop Inn’s properties. No longer so, as I report in today’s Post.

So, in another exciting sign that things are really starting to happen in Over-the-Rhine, it appears the Cincinnati Public Schools and those who have worked tirelessly to make this happen got their wish, Drop Inn got a viable alternative to their current situation and we might get a school on that property – and with all its intended splendor – sooner than we thought. Just need a few more deep pockets, which I’m sure is hiding among the city’s (not necessarily the city government’s) proverbial seat cushions.
Things just seem to be happening everywhere down here. Makes me very happy. Now, I’m going to go check out my pals new stores on Vine Street in the Gateway Quarter. I was on vacation and missed all their openings. Time to go make it up…

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

1 thought on “SCPA’s new building becoming more of a reality”

  1. The moving of the Drop Inn’s transitional housing unit to the former NuBlend building on McMicken sacrificing one part of OTR for another. I have long been a supporter of the new SCPA and hoped that the powers that be could move the Drop Inn and its affiliates out of OTR into a pastoral field somewhere, away from all the enticements like drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, property crimes, etc.
    I think 3CDC, Fifth Third Bank (who controls the former NuBlend property), Model management and the mutated OTR council have consired to destroy the basin streets (E. Clifton, McMicken)and thus, further create obstacles to dvelopment of market-rate housing onthe Mulberry Hillside. Why sacrifice the development of the hillside with this move, especially to an area that is disturbingly violent? Why put clients at risk into an at-risk area? 127-29 E. Clifton is adjacent to NuBlend and is a public nuisance. The loiterers and litters hanging at Lang and E. Clifton will not be a welcoming coomittee to the clients in the transitional housing program.

    The breviated manner in which City Council proposed (Monday) and then voted (Wednesday) reveals that these folks do not do deliberate thinking for the long term.

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