YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ground will be broken in early June for the Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute, which is operated by Park Vista of Youngstown.
The learning center, aimed at residents 50 and older, started in February 2014 but has been without a permanent home. The fundraising campaign has surpassed the $1 million mark, enabling the center to enter its next phase of expansion.
Lorilyn Shandor, campaign and gift planning director for Park Vista of Youngstown, said in a news release that the campaign committee had raised $1,014,000 for program endowment and capital improvements.
The Gelhaar Center, which will house the Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute, is named for the late Charlotte C. Gelhaar. It will be an addition to the east side of Park Vista’s gathering room on Fifth Avenue, across from Wick Park.
The Center will include an atrium, additional restrooms and classrooms with state-of-the-art technology to aid those with vision or hearing difficulties and provide access to virtual learning. Attached to it will be an enclosed sculpture garden featuring works from local and regional artists. The first piece, anticipated to be revealed at the groundbreaking, has been commissioned by Park Vista residents Roger and Gloria Jones, founders of the Ow Wow! Children’s Museum in downtown Youngstown.
Shandor said a five-year plan is in place to grow endowment funds for programming in the Institute’s four-lecture series: The Harris Lecture Series on History and Political Science; The Gelhaar Lecture Series on Arts and Culture; The Kyle Lecture Series on Religion and Spirituality; and the Wellness and Rehabilitation Lecture Series. The lectures are funded by donors.
The Mahoning Valley Lifelong Learning Institute has relationships with the Mahoning Valley Historical Society, The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County and Youngstown State University.