Girl Scout Council receives $100,000 for STEM center

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio received $100,000 from the State of Ohio Capital Budget appropriation for a future STEM facility at Camp Ledgewood in Peninsula.

MACEDONIA – Girl Scouts of North East Ohio took a big step forward in constructing its planned $3 million STEM Center of Excellence after recently obtaining $100,000 from the state of Ohio capital budget appropriation.

“We are pleased to be the first Girl Scout council in Ohio to every receive a grant from the capital budget for our STEM Center of Excellence, to be built at our Camp Ledgewood,” said M. Jane Christyson, chief executive officer. “This unique facility will inspire our more than 23,000 girl members as well as local students to take on a STEM Career and build a talent pipeline for Ohio’s workforce.”

Kent State University, which served as the fiscal agent, will collaborate with GSNEO on the project, Christyson said.

“We have begun the planning process with Kent State to think about our joint projects,” she said. “We have had several visits with their staff on site and they are excited about the possibilities.”

GSNEO is still in the process of raising money for the facility, Christyson said.

"We are in the silent phase of fundraising campaign and aren’t releasing our totals yet," she said. "We don’t want spoil the surprise."

Christyson said that she hoped the council will enter the design phase next year, with a groundbreaking sometime in 2022 and completion by 2023. The council has been working on the concept for about two years.

The facility would be open to school groups during the school year on weekdays, Christyson said. Girl Scouts would have access to it during the weekends and all summer. Features of the facility would include flexible classroom space, hands-on equipment and instruments, video wall, roof top observatory, vegetative roof, wind and solar power demonstration projects. 

In October 2019, GSNEO opened a $3 million facility, the Chickadee Program Center, at Camp Ledgewood in Peninsula. The program center includes a demonstration kitchen, meeting rooms with a capacity of 300 and other features.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com