Ashland University Columbus Center Receives Neighborhood Partnership Grant

Ashland University Columbus Center Receives Neighborhood Partnership Grant

12/12/17 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Columbus Center, in partnership with Focus Learning Academy of Northern Columbus and Life Skills North, received a $4,000 Neighborhood Partnership Grant. The Neighborhood Partnership Grants Program is made possible through the generous support of the City of Columbus Department of Development, PNC, the Columbus Foundation and United Way of Central Ohio.

The grant project paid for the painting of colorful stencils on the playground areas of two parking lots – one located on the northeast auxiliary parking lot of Ashland University and the other the north parking lot of Focus Learning Academy of Northern Columbus, immediately adjacent to a small playground.

These stencils included a nature activity circuit, a clock, a choose my plate, a racetrack, yoga poses, a compass, a peace path to resolve conflicts as well as maps of Ohio, the United States and the world. Also included was a fitness package that included basketball hopscotch, foursquare and a basketball court as well as a large stencil package for younger children.

The students from Focus decided on the stencils for the parking lot, and mapped out the locations of the stencils. The staff and students from Ashland and Focus, along with a number of Life Skills students and community volunteers, spent hundreds of hours painting the parking lot and using stencils purchased primarily from Fit & Fun Playscapes.

“A spring community festival is being planned to celebrate the completion of the first phase of this project,” said Dr. Mary Lutz, director of the Columbus Center. “We also are working in cooperation with the leadership of several organizations to share our resources with a limited number of schools and churches in the Columbus area in planned ‘drive-by-paintings.’”

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2017, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.  ###