Northern Kentucky Scholar House

The Challenge

Build an addition onto an existing community center to house a child development center. Build four new residential buildings on adjacent site of a former parking lot and park, and build a playground to support the child development center.

The Development Solution

Model Group joined with partners Brighton Center and Neighborhood Foundations to develop the first Scholar House program in the Greater Cincinnati area. Northern Kentucky Scholar House is a transitional learning-living program that equips low-income single parents with the support they need to complete a post-secondary degree and improve their work prospects. While parents are away at classes, their children simultaneously receive a fundamental introduction to learning at the child development center. The Scholar House model, which began at a facility in Lexington, Kentucky, and has taken root in eight additional locations in Kentucky and Ohio, is a proven model that will assist these parents while they earn their degree and work their way towards self-sufficiency.

To participate in the program, Scholar House applicants must be enrolled in full-time coursework at a postsecondary education institution. While enrolled in the program, families are offered the following supports:

1.      Housing: 48 newly constructed units, 42 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom units to best accommodate families. Subsidy will ensure that all families will pay only 30% of their incomes towards rent and utilities.

2.      On-Site Child Development Center: Brighton Center has been delivering high-quality early childhood education services for many years, and operates a child development center sized to accommodate the children living at Scholar House. Children from 6 weeks to school-age receive care in an enriching environment while the parent is in school.

3.     Adult Support Program: In a program also coordinated by Brighton Center, parents are connected with economic supports including a work study program, financial aid and other workshops that will assist parents in their roles as students, heads of households and future employees. The project will include several rooms where these programs are offered. 

The Construction Solution

Total construction costs for the child development center were $1.7 million, and $5.6 million for the residential buildings. When financing costs, professional fees, and other services are included, total development costs were $9.1 million. The Northern Kentucky Scholar House is LEED for Homes Gold certified.