Cook: To talk of schools is to talk of jails

Police vehicles line the street Wednesday, June 15, 2016, outside of the Hamilton County Jail.
photo David Cook

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Hamilton County faces what seems like an economic and ethical crossroads.

To the left, our schools.

To the right, our downtown county jail.

Addressing the problems within each is not a matter of if, but when. Our public schools face an infrastructure and identity crisis: a backlog of $382 million in deferred repairs and new needs, along with growing fragmentation as multiple municipalities consider educational secession and forming their own districts.

Our downtown jail? It has been slowly disintegrating for years, just about the only part of downtown - minus College Hill Courts - the angels of renovation have passed over.

So in the coming months, elected officials will discuss schools and jails.