Launch building lease not renewed for 2022-2023 school year


Jonathan Tinker and Mya Schwartz

The building was donated by the Fort Thomas Educational Foundation in 2021

Next year, students in the Launch program are in for a change in location. 

Launch is an educational program provided by Fort Thomas Independent Schools. 

One of the biggest benefits of Launch is that it provides students with opportunities to take beneficial classes such as entrepreneurship, app development, and health sciences in an environment that replicates a real-world scenario. 

It also provides students with dual-credit opportunities. 

The school board began this program with a 4-year contract for the building, however, because of financial reasons, the school board chose to not continue renting out the building. 

According to Fort Thomas Independent Schools superintendent Brian Robinson, the decision to move Launch will save the school board an estimated $115,000-$120,000 annually based on costs for the monthly lease, utilities, network lease, and additional miscellaneous costs.

To clarify, the district is not canceling the program Launch but they are moving the location.

Robinson said they are throwing some ideas around as to where to relocate Launch. 

One of the most popular ideas was to use the house on 2504 Memorial Parkway, which was donated to the school by the Fort Thomas Educational Foundation. The idea would be to demolish the house and replace it with a brand new building, designed for Launch. 

Current Launch Junior Adam Dunn said, “The Launch building is really cool, the rooms and desks/tables are extremely modernized and the all-glass doors are really nice.”

However, Dunn was disappointed in the location change. 

“…Having an off-campus learning site was interesting. It gave students a sense of “adult life,” and for me personally, it honestly helped motivate me to work harder. I’m very upset about the change.” 

The impact on App development teacher Sam Volpenhein will be minimal. 

“This will not impact my schedule next year as there were not many requests for the classes I taught, so they will not be offered.” 

Volpenhein said not much will change in terms of opportunity. 

“While the building at Launch was nice, I think it will still be possible to recreate the opportunities for students at another location.” 

Whether Launch is in the school or located in another part of town, students are still eager to join the program next year.