The new Chase Elementary School in Northside, which replaces a school that held many classes in a basement with no windows or outside light, opened for students Feb. 18.
The 66,925-square-foot building can house 450 students from Pre-K through eighth grade and serve as an educational and recreational hub for Northside. It replaces the 33-year-old, 96,000-square-foot elementary that bore the same name. With undersized classrooms, minimal security and no capacity for ADA accessibility, the old school was in sore need of a replacement.
“There were a lot of rooms that had absolutely no daylight coming in,” Mike Boron, project manager at C+R Architecture. “There were also many water problems, they had to run a sump-pump 24 hours a day.”
Designed by CR architecture + design
in association with Fanning Howey Associates and Moody Nolan, Inc., the new Chase features 21 classrooms with large windows, extended learning areas, a media center, computer and science labs and improved art, music and reading areas.
The new school is designed to achieve LEED silver certification with extras like daylight harvesting and occupation sensors—features that conserve energy in new, creative ways. The new school campus has limited car access to help promote more walking. Located on a nine-acre site next to the McKie Recreation Center, the school can share resources and expand its reach into the neighborhood. While C+R has renovated other Cincinnati Public Schools, Chase was a plum new construction job.
The new school was planned to help bring more children from the community back to school in Northside, since many children leave the neighborhood for private schools or more highly rated CPS alternatives. In a story Soapbox featured on the pending construction of the school in 2010, then president of the Northside Business Association, Bruce Demske, said, “I’d love to put my kids back into neighborhood schools.”
By Evan Wallis