Demolition underway on former Lincoln Heights High School. Photo provided by WCPO 9 Cincinnati

By: Molly Schramm , Anna Azallion

Crews began demolition of the former Lincoln Heights High School last week.

The site of the school has been sitting vacant for years. The property and the adjacent abandoned Lincoln Heights Elementary School are the two largest developments in the Village of Lincoln Heights.

The demolition was made possible by funding from the Ohio Department of Development’s Building Demolition and Site Revitalization program. Funding was applied for by the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority in partnership with the village, and the Port is overseeing the demolition.

Other than that funding, the village also received additional money from Hamilton County to put toward the high school’s demolition. In 2022, Hamilton County gave close to $1 million to Lincoln Heights, and village officials planned to use the money for three different projects, including $175,000 toward the demolition and remediation of the high school.

The village is also using that funding from Hamilton County for road repairs and improvements to Memorial Field for community use.

“Lincoln Heights has not gotten their fair share of resources and we’re making sure that Lincoln Heights and other small cities and villages around Hamilton County are no longer overlooked,” said Alicia Reece previously when she was the then-Hamilton County Commission Vice President.

The long-abandoned high school was cleaned of asbestos and other hazardous materials before it was demolished.

Prior to demolition, there were multiple speakers from the Port, the village, Hamilton County and more. One was Donald Darby, who graduated from Lincoln Heights High School.

“It was a gathering place, not only for the students that attended there but also for the community,” he said.

And what stood out most to Darby was the staff.

“The kids coming here, myself included, had lots of needs, really a lot of needs, but the staff was such that they took care of those needs,” he said. “I knew probably after my 10th grade year that I wanted to go into education.”

He ended up teaching Lincoln Heights students after the school merged with Princeton. Among the list of his former students, is the current mayor of Lincoln Heights.

According to the village’s website, the site will be used for “mixed uses and enhanced recreation facilities for these parcels to compliment the refurbished Memorial Field.”

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