Cincinnati Public Schools take possession of two schools this weekend that should help the district deal with increased enrollment.
From 2013 to 2017 the district's enrollment jumped from 29,959 to 34,421, a 15 percent increase. To deal with it CPS is expanding its footprint to include the reopening of the Clifton Area Neighborhood School (3711 Clifton Ave.) and Mercy High School (3036 Werk Rd.).
CPS bought Mercy High School from the Sisters of Mercy. The high school announced its closure last year because of declining enrollment.
Clifton Area Neighborhood School will move into a building CPS already owned and was leasing to the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
Both will be open in the fall of 2019.
Plans are also in the works for a new Stargel Stadium. The current football stadium at Taft Information Technology High School is being moved across the street on Ezzard Charles because FC Cincinnati will build a stadium on the current Stargel site. CPS says Stargel will open for the start of the 2019 football season.
The enrollment increase is expected to continue. Board Vice President Ericka Copeland-Dansby says the latest projection is an increase of 500 more students from this school year to next. She says the largest increases are at Aiken, Dater, and West High. "A total of 743 students have enrolled in the district as a result of charter school closings. A total of 210 students enrolled in the district with the closing of ECOT. (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow) earlier in 2018."
Students are already signed up to attend the Clifton Neighborhood School and are being housed in other classrooms until the school is ready next year.
For the former Mercy High School, a parents' meeting is planned for September 6, 2018 at the school. CPS is looking for suggestions, according to board president Carolyn Jones. "We want to hear what they want. We want to hear how best to partner. And we'll sort of form our thinking around the community engagement part of it."
Correction: A previous version of this article said CPS bought the building from the Archdiocese. It actually bought the building from Sisters of Mercy.