Facility served city, county well [Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH)]
(Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WOOSTER -- The closing of the Gault Family Learning Center marks the end of another chapter in the building's long history.
It has served for the past 11 years as the home to a network of agencies serving children and their families. According to information from The College of Wooster, to which the building is being donated by the center's trustees, the building -- the former Beall Avenue Elementary School -- was purchased at an auction from Wooster City Schools by a group of local businessman Stanley Gault spearheaded in 2000.
The building's restoration and conversion to the Family Learning Center was a $4.86 million project; its campus includes a carriage house and two parking lots on 3.3 acres.
The College "was one of four local organizations that committed to leases" in the building, along with Wayne County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Tri-County Educational Service Center and Wayne County Schools Career Center, said John Hopkins in a statement about the building changing hands.
This year, the nonprofit learning center houses three preschools - - Ida Sue, Tri-County and Littlest Generals -- with a total of more than 160 students, Hopkins said. He added Help Me Grow, which offers assistance to new parents, has been located there since the center opened in August 2002.
EJ Therapy Associates and Killbuck Watershed Land Trust moved into the building in 2011.
The College also used its space over the years, Hopkins said, for a number of purposes, in addition to providing "telecommunications services for the building, security monitoring, and landscaping and grounds maintenance for the property."
In the statement announcing the building's closing, Gault summarized the center's mission.
"For the past 11 years, Gault Family Learning Center has served people with great needs who had been unable to get this kind of support elsewhere.
"The facility has provided service to hundreds of people of all ages, from toddlers receiving intervention for developmental delays and preschoolers getting their first classroom experience, to adults improving their lives by developing literacy skills," Gault said in the statement, lamenting "government funding reductions have made it impossible for this program model to continue."
College President Grant Cornwell expressed The College's deep appreciation for "this extraordinarily generous gift. This is a magnificent facility, renovated and maintained with the same care, quality and attention to detail that characterizes every project in which the Gault family is involved."
According to information from The College, potential uses for the building will be considered over the next few months.
Reporter Linda Hall can be reached at 330-264-1125, Ext. 2230, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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