Broadway Corridor to see ‘Youth-Oriented
By La Prensa Staff
A new community center, charter school, and multiuse athletic field
are among multi-million dollar improvements families will see
start by the end of summer along the Broadway Corridor. While
the projects are independent of each other, the main influencers
on each have ties to the Historic South End initiative.
First, the Toledo Plan Commission on Thursday, May 9, gave approval
for a special-use permit to open and operate a new community
center at 1623 Broadway, which would promote the reuse of an
existing, vacant building. Mosaic Ministries, which runs the
outreach programs of Western Avenue Baptist Church of Toledo, is
proposing to relocate an existing center just a couple of blocks
from an existing location on Orchard St., as well as build a
is listed as the main organizer of the project. He has been
organizing an extensive set of home renovations led by the
Historic South End initiative along Crittenden and Western Aves.
“This is part of a jigsaw puzzle program we’re involved with. This
building has been vacant 10 or 15 years. It’s a large building,”
said Welly, Mosaic Ministries board president. “The plan is to
move the operation of Mosaic Ministries from the old St. James
School into this building as phase one of a bigger project.
Phase 2 will be further development of this building, including
an addition to make it available for a charter school that we’re
The charter school would operate K through sixth grade, with the
hope of eventually expanding to the eighth grade, a format
similar to how Toledo Public Schools operate all of its
elementary schools. Welly indicated the charter school addition
would involve a $6 million to $7 million project. The charter
school also would require approval of a special use permit.
currently operates Baby University, a pre-K program that
involves young children and their parents in a specialized
curriculum. The program gives parents in low-income
neighborhoods the tools to close an education gap, where studies
children from low-income neighborhoods enter kindergarten 60
percent behind their middle-class counterparts in learning
development. Much of that gap is made up when parents read to
their kids more often.
There is also a community feeding program, which provides breakfast
six days per week and dinner four evenings each week. Those are
done in conjunction with Vision Ministries.
“Between the two, we cover seven dinners a week in the
neighborhood. Those are free for anyone who wishes to attend,”
Welly told the plan commission, while indicating the feeding
program currently serves “hundreds,” especially toward the end
of the month when money runs low for many families.
The Broadway Corridor Coalition already has given the project its
blessing. The proposal must still receive Toledo City Council
approval. Council’s planning and zoning committee will consider
the community center plan at a public hearing June 12. Once
final approval is granted, work could begin later this summer.
The next investment, to be completed by the end of the year, is the
complete renovation of Danny Thomas Park, which currently
includes a grass baseball diamond, a basketball court, a small
practice football field, a picnic pavilion, and a jungle gym.
However, it is unclear exactly when those renovations will
“While there is a lot of activity at the park, little has been
done to update the park these past 60 years,” Historic South End
executive director Chris Amato wrote in a recent email to
supporters. “That is going to change very soon!”
Amato indicated the combined park improvements would result in a
$1.5 million investment.
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation
has adopted Danny Thomas Park as their first Youth
Development Park in Ohio. The Historic South End initiative
secured a $400,000 state grant, along with additional investment
by city leaders. The YMCA and the Believe Center
also are partners in the overall project.
Park renovations this year will include a state-of-the-art turf
field for baseball and soccer, with complete fencing and
dugouts. The lower portion of the park will see new basketball
courts, a picnic pavilion, and areas for children to play.
The project has been ‘adopted’ by some members of St. John's
High School class of 1969. A major fundraising event was
held in Scottsdale, Arizona at the home of a class member’s
friend, other alumni engaged in raising significant financial
support in the Toledo community, according to Amato’s email.