SCPA name change battle brewing

By Stefano DiPietrantonio - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Strong words were voiced Monday night, and most were against a proposed name change for the Cincinnati School For Creative And Performing Arts.

Under consideration is naming the school after the late Cincinnati Pops Maestro Erich Kunzel.

There are concerns money is doing the talking and that the concerns of students and alumni are being ignored.

At the CPS school board meeting Monday night, no action was taken, however lots of alumni and current students from SCPA got up to speak their minds. They're asking CPS to keep the name SCPA on the front door and not the proposed Erich Kunzel School For Creative And Performing Arts.

Most everyone acknowledged the late maestro helped raise millions for the new SCPA building, as well as boosted the school's reputation all over the world.

However, opponents of the name change say if you recognize one person who has contributed to the school, you would leave out countless others.

SCPA may have gone through a lot of transformations and locations over the years, but one thing has remained consistent, the name SCPA.

One parent, Lee Holmes, who has children attending SCPA, claimed Kunzel himself did not want the school's name changed to his name.

"Maestro Kunzel stated publicly that he did not want the school named after him. The GCAEC will stand-up here and tell you about the millions of dollars they've raised. Does that buy them the right to rename the school?"Holmes said.

But Tom Klinedinst, Jr. with the GCAEC says it is time for change.

"Change is hard but all does not have to be lost by adding a new dimension and image to the new school," he said.

Most people are for naming just the building after Maestro Kunzel, but not the entire school. Monday night's hearing was only a platform to voice concerns. A representative from CPS told FOX19 it may go to a vote at the next school board meeting, Dec. 7.

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