Students at L. Hollingworth School walk through their new school, which is in a former Jobst plant. Most students are from the east side.
A run-down former hosiery factory in East Toledo is now the glistening new home of a charter school.
Terrence Franklin is the founder of the L. Hollingworth School for the Talented and Gifted.
The L. Hollingworth School for the Talented and Gifted began classes last week in its new building at 653 Miami St. The structure once was a manufacturing plant owned by the Jobst Institute Inc., which made its well-known compression stockings there.
The school purchased it from River East Economic Revitalization Corp. and spent in excess of $5 million on renovations that have turned it into a state-of-the-art facility with 16 classrooms and a multipurpose gymnasium. The building has 43,504 square feet of usable space and another 5,247 square feet available for future expansion.
Financing for the renovation came from the Raza Development Fund, a Phoenix-based national Hispanic loan fund, according to Terrence Franklin, the founder and head of the kindergarten-through-ninth-grade school.
The school is named for Leta Hollingworth (1886-1939), a pioneering psychologist who studied exceptional children. It opened in 2009 with 93 students, in the former Sacred Heart School building on Sixth Street, and outgrew its space, Mr. Franklin said. Enrollment the next year doubled, and today stands at 345. The school plans to add a high school grade each academic year, and he expected eventually to have 475 students.
Remaining in East Toledo was important, according to Mr. Franklin, who said, “The majority of our students and families we serve live in the east side of Toledo. This community is important to us, and it is critical that we support its needs and contribute to its success.”
At the open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, State Sen. Edna Brown (D., Toledo) recognized the contribution the project made to East Toledo and said the school’s neighbors were “so very pleased” with what had been done.
Mayor D. Michael Collins also recognized what the refurbished building brought to East Toledo. He said today’s economy was a knowledge economy, and “the world tomorrow will be defined by the people we educate today.”
Councilman Mike Craig also praised the school for remaining in East Toledo, which he represents on Toledo City Council.
Mr. Franklin said the school is open to all Ohio students and that parents and children should not be put off by the “Talented and Gifted” part of its name.
“We want every student to feel welcome coming here,” he explained. “So if students need extra support and help, we want them to feel we will provide that too.”
Contact Carl Ryan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6095.