Amelita Mirolo never lived in Worthington, but her name will rest here on a plaque at the outdoor education building.
The Mirolo Charitable Foundation has donated $75,000 toward the renovation of the abandoned building that sits along the Olentangy River on the grounds of Thomas Worthington High School.
In return, the building will be called the Mirolo Community Pavilion, and a simple plaque will bear the name of the benefactor. The Worthington Board of Education on Nov. 25 approved naming rights.
The abandoned 1960s, one-story building is owned by the schools. After renovations, which should be completed by fall 2014, it will be used by the schools and the community.
Students in environmental studies will use the building, but it also will be open for community events and will be leased for private events.
Restrooms are expected to remain open for people using the Olentany Bikeway.
"I think our community will really use the center," George Joseph told the board.
He is the Worthington school district's director of administrative services.
Worthington architect Peter Macrae designed the renovated building.
Plans were approved by the Worthington Architectural Review Board in April.
Wood partitioning and storage that were added over the years will be removed to reveal the original, simple design of the one-room, 3,000-square-foot interior.
Overhead doors will fill the space between masonry piers/ columns so that the facility could be heated and used all year.
A gas-burning fireplace will be replaced with a gas-log fireplace; the kitchen and restrooms will be renovated; and other updates will be made.
The gathering room will retain overhead beams, wood roof decking and a raised lectern at one end.
The school district has set aside $163,000 for the project. Approximately $88,000 remains to be raised for the project.
Amelita Mirolo was a first-generation American born to Italian immigrants. Her parents owned the Ardit Mosaic Tile & Marble Co., which she and her brother, Peter, ran until he died in 1983.
She continued to run the company until 1991, when she sold the business and retired.
She formed the charitable foundation in 1993, continuing her lifelong dedication to philanthropy. Upon her death in 2006, virtually all of her estate went to the foundation.
Organizations that have benefited from the foundation include the Pontifical College Josephinum, St. Agatha Church in Upper Arlington and a historical barn in Sunny 95 Park in Upper Arlington.