The Columbus Foundation and its donors have a generous track record of supporting high performing schools—from start-up phase to scaling. A recent trio of grants will help three schools continue their growth and expand their footprints and student capacity.
Knowledge is Power Program Columbus (KIPP Columbus), Metro Schools, and United Schools Network (USN) are three central Ohio schools with similar trajectories in terms of enrollment growth, and each has received continued accolades and merits related to the strong preparation and academic performance of its students.
In September, the Foundation’s Governing Committee approved grants of $250,000 each to support the continued advancement of KIPP Columbus, USN, and Metro, with each engaged in efforts to raise capital funds for extensive renovations of newly acquired buildings (USN and Metro) and to help with new construction costs (KIPP Columbus).
Established in 2006, Metro Early College High School was born out of the desire of both The Ohio State University and Battelle to create a “small” STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) school with a “big footprint.” It was the first STEM school in the state of Ohio. In 2013, middle school programming was added, dubbing the educational effort solely as Metro.
With the support of Battelle and OSU, Metro, which currently has enrollment of 900 students grades 6–12, is preparing to renovate the historic Indianola Middle School, designed nearly a century ago by Howard Dwight Smith, architect of OSU’s Thompson Library expansion and Ohio Stadium. Meka Pace, Superintendent of Metro Schools, said the expansion is necessary to serve more students.
“We’re out of room here,” said Pace. “We’ve utilized every available spot and major hallway in this building that we possibly could. Having more space allows us to serve more students in central Ohio.”
The grant to Metro was made possible thanks to the following Unrestricted Funds at the Foundation: Barbara J. Haddox Fund, Robert B. Hurst Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Derrol R. Johnson Fund, and the Theodora Roberts Fund. The grants to both KIPP and USN were made possible thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor.