Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Robin Davis
Director of Media Relations
614.645.2425
rcdavis@columbus.gov

Melanie Crabill
Communications Manager
614.645.5300
mjcrabill@columbus.gov

Media advisory
News Date: October 23, 2018

MAYOR PROCEEDING WITH HILLTOP WORKGROUP’S RECOMMENDATION

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Columbus City Schools have agreed to explore collaboration on a new facility for early learning in the Hilltop. Developer Doug Borror, CEO of Borror, and Michael Redd, Managing Partner of Wave Innovation Group, have agreed to lead fundraising efforts for this important initiative.  

“Studies show that early childhood education is the foundation of lifelong learning and success in life,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “There is a great need for more high-quality early childhood education in the Hilltop to strengthen the community now and in the future. I am pleased to be collaborating with Columbus City Schools and grateful to Doug Borror and Michael Redd for his commitment to a facility.”  

Mayor Ginther created the Hilltop Early Childhood Partnership in 2017 to double the number of Hilltop children enrolled in quality early learning programs by 2020.  At the time, the Mayor noted that although almost 2,000 four-year-olds reside in the Greater Hilltop area, only 152 were enrolled in quality community-based programs.

“One of the recommendations of the Hilltop Early Childhood Partnership was the creation of a new learning facility in the Hilltop to increase capacity,” said Jane Leach, former chair of the Hilltop Early Childhood Partnership study and current executive director of FutureReady Columbus. “With the leadership of Mayor Ginther, the generosity of Mr. Borror and Mr. Redd, and the collaborative spirit of the Hilltop community, the future looks brighter.” 

The City and Columbus City Schools are exploring possible locations for the facility, including a potential site adjacent to Highland Elementary School.  A partnership with the District would create a natural migration of children from the new prekindergarten facility into Highland Elementary School and a sharing of resources and services.  The location is also ideal because of its close proximity to the J. Ashburn Boys and Girls Club which offers after school and summer programming.

“Our partnership with the Mayor, City Council and the State of Ohio has allowed Columbus City Schools to boost the number of prekindergarten seats by more than 22% throughout the city,” added Columbus Board of Education President Gary L. Baker, II. “Through this new initiative, we can continue to be the leader in offering high-quality early education to our city’s youngest learners.”

"Funding for early childhood education is one of the best investments we can make as a city and as a society," said Columbus City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown. "A state-of-the-art facility on the Hilltop is an important step toward expanding access to high quality pre-k opportunities for children."

The Borror family has deep roots in the Westside and has already committed $1 million from the Borror Family Foundation to the project. 

“Columbus is our home. This community is our family,” said Borror. “When the Mayor came to us with this issue, we knew we had to do something.  This is personal to us, and we look forward to making an impact in an area so in need.”  

Though the primary focus of the new facility will be prekindergarten, other community services and programs will be offered.  The exact services offered at the facility will be determined by resident input collected as part of the Hilltop community planning process.