childrens

Emery Center renovation underway as The Children’s Theatre plots purchase of historic concert hall

CINCINNATI — Construction on The Emery Center, one of downtown Cincinnati’s most historic buildings, could start in 2021. The Emery Center, which sits on Central Parkway between Walnut and Clay Streets, is currently made up of 59 apartments, Coffee Emporium, office space, and a long-dormant theater.

The apartments will be renovated in phases starting in January, but the theater’s $30 million renovation will take longer by up to the three and a half years, according to The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

“In real estate, we call it ‘bricks and mortar,’ said the building’s new co-owner, Chris Frutkin. “Well, there’s a lot of bricks and mortar in this building. It just goes on and on and on, [there are] whole rooms we had no idea existed.”

Emery Theatre from stage

Terry Helmer

The Emery Theatre will require about $30 million in renovations before it becomes the home of The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

Frutkin, of City Center Properties, and longtime developer Dave Neyer bought the historic building in 2019 for $8.55 million. They bought the building from the University of Cincinnati, which had owned it since 1969.

Original, handwritten building drawings came with the purchase of the Emery. The building was designed by Samuel Hannaford, the artist who designed and built both Music Hall and Cincinnati City Hall.

“These are ink on Irish linen and incredible works of art on their own,” Frutkin said. They now live in his office several blocks away on Main Street.

Emery Theatre drawings

Chris Frutkin

Original Samuel Hannaford drawings of the Emery Theatre. Provided.

The Emery Center was build in 1911 as the Ohio Mechanics Institute, a trade school that would eventually merge into UC’s applied science and engineering college.

The crown jewel of the building was the ‘acoustically pure’ theater built to house the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

“Mary Emery allegedly said

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Over 15,000 children’s homes surprised with free Wi-Fi amid COVID-19 pandemic

Over 15,000 student households in five school districts were gifted with free internet connectivity this morning, as many children struggle with online learning due to unreliable Wi-Fi amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Good Morning America,” revealed the surprise today to students attending five public school districts located in Allegheny Valley, Pennsylvania, Jackson, Mississippi, Baltimore, Maryland, Santa Fe, New Mexico and South Bend, Indiana. They will now have five years of free internet connection in their homes, thanks to T-Mobile’s Project 10Million–a program that aims to eventually get free Wi-Fi to 10 million students’ households in the US.

“It means a lot to the community–to narrow the gap, for students to have the opportunity to have internet access at home. It’s amazing,” said Shawn Henderson, principal of Riley High School in South Bend. “We’re blessed, thank you.”

Of the 50 million children learning remotely, between 15 and 16 million lack adequate internet connectivity, according to the Center for Democracy and Technology. As a result, many students have turned to fast food restaurants or school parking lots to access online classes.

In Jackson, where school administrators are dealing with the challenges of online learning, Errick Greene, Superintendent of Jackson Public Schools told “Good Morning America” that about 25 percent of students are not connected through the internet.

Learn more about ways to help teachers on Donors Choose.

The digital divide has been present even before the pandemic hit, with many households without internet access due to racial, economic and geographic inequalities.

“There’s a lot of barriers, infrastructure barriers, cost barriers and just barriers in general to getting people connected,” said Brett Slezak, Supervisor of Technology at Allegheny Valley School in Pennsylvania.

In Baltimore, 20,000 families were without access to broadband, which is equivalent to 40,000 students.

And in indigenous communities in New

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