The other problem the Academy faced wasn’t so easily solved. The accreditors said the Eden Park building didn’t have enough classroom space per student. The technology was outdated without even a copy machine. Then, in the 1980s, the age of computers drastically changed the field of graphic design and how it was taught, necessitating the purchase of expensive new equipment.

For 114 years, the Art Academy and the Art Museum had been under the purview of the Cincinnati Museum Association. The CMA Board decided to separate the Academy and the Museum effective September 1, 1998. Smith took on the title of president of the Art Academy, and a new board was created to oversee the school. The split was beneficial to both institutions, although having been together so long, the separation was a complex process

In May 2000, the Art Academy announced that it was leaving Eden Park and moving to a new campus in Over-the-Rhine. The AAC moved into their new building on Jackson Street in the fall of 2005.