Battelle-supported Metro School Secures Funding to Re-Open Historic Building as STEM School
Metro Schools will renovate vacant school building for STEM-focused middle and high school with support from Battelle, The Ohio State University, other partners.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (July 8, 2021)—Metro Schools, founded in 2006 by Battelle and The Ohio State University, was granted state funding today to renovate the historic former Indianola Middle School to expand the school’s high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused education.
The Ohio State University will lease the school, located at 420 E. 19th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio, to Metro Schools at no cost. Metro Schools will operate the building as a middle and high school, adding a second location to its portfolio of public STEM schools.
Metro’s application for state funding of the project was approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. With this approval, the State of Ohio will match funding by Battelle and the Central Ohio community, up to $15 million.
Battelle is the lead philanthropic partner, providing at least $7.5 million to support the expansion. Another $7.5 million in gifts from the Central Ohio community are being sought.
“Battelle’s investment, and those of our partners, are driven by the conviction that the next generation of diverse Central Ohio innovators will have a transformative impact on our region and world,” said Lou Von Thaer, President & CEO of Battelle. “A Metro School education promises to help unlock the full potential of these amazing young people.”
Metro Schools also operates the Metro Early College High School and Metro Early College Middle School at 1929 Kenny Road in Columbus. After the Indianola building is renovated and opened in 2024, Metro’s Kenny Road location will transition to become Metro Elementary School.
“As we grow our Metro Schools family, we expand the opportunity provided by a quality STEM education to more and more students,” said Meka Pace, Superintendent of Metro Schools. “Today’s investment from the State of Ohio and the support of Battelle, Ohio State, and our other partners will allow us to build a diverse, creative pool of talent benefitting this entire region.”
Ohio State purchased the former Indianola Middle School in 2017. The school had been vacant since 2010. Under the proposed agreement, Ohio State will lease the school to Metro Schools for 30 years.
“This project fits perfectly with Ohio State’s core land grant mission of supporting strong communities in neighborhoods across Columbus and around the state,” said Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson. “I am a huge believer in the value of STEM education, and I’m thrilled that bringing Indianola Middle School back to life will provide more opportunities to more students.”
Once open, the new middle and high school will serve at least 1,200 students; the Kenny Road Metro school currently educates 970 students. Seats will be held for students who reside within the University District, an historic area consisting of neighborhoods and businesses surrounding The Ohio State University main campus. Metro Schools also maintains a student body made up of 50% of students from the Columbus City School district. Interested families can sign up for notification about future enrollment opportunities.
Metro’s expansion is part of Battelle’s philanthropic mission to expand STEM educational opportunities to students in Central Ohio. Metro opened in 2006 as one of the first STEM schools in Ohio through a partnership with Ohio State, Battelle and several Franklin County school districts. Students from across Central Ohio apply to join the school, which has a diverse student body, recorded a 100% graduation rate since opening, and has seen nearly all graduates enroll in college.
Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.