MEDBEREX, Ohio — MedbereX is taking out the public school board in the largest U.S. city, and it’s doing it without paying the full cost.
The company, which specializes in online education for families, announced Monday that it would raise $300 million to buy and operate the first-of-its kind school in the country, and would pay for the cost by selling shares in the company.
The move by Medbex marks a sharp turnaround for a company that, despite its high price tag, has struggled to compete with a growing number of schools and online education providers.
Medbex said the move was made because it needed to make investments in new equipment, facilities and technology.
It also sought to avoid a legal battle with the City of Cincinnati over whether it could operate in the city’s schools.
The city has long been an early adopter of the new technology and has been fighting to shut it down.
The new school, to be built at the former Cleveland Hopkins Hospital, will be the first of its kind in the United States.
The school, located at 9200 Euclid Ave., will have about 5,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12 and has more than 800 classrooms, according to a news release.
Its website says the school will be staffed with about 500 teaching assistants, including teachers and other professionals, and will employ around 700 people, with another 200 in the classroom.
It will be led by a chief financial officer, the company said.
The decision was met with praise by a group of local school advocates and community members.
They called the move a major milestone for the city, which they said is already home to some of the nation’s most expensive public schools.
“We’re really excited about the school,” said Elizabeth Smith, president of the Hamilton-Ohio School Advocacy Coalition.
“We know we’re going to have a school in Hamilton.”
Smith said the new school is a “game changer.”
“It’s going to make a big difference,” she said.
She said the school would also give parents a “safe place to get their kids.”
Medbemex said it was able to obtain federal waivers from state officials to start construction in the Ohio city.
The public school, at least for now, will not be the only one that is slated to open in Cincinnati.
The University of Cincinnati is expected to open a new campus this fall.