The Mirolo Community Pavilion -- formerly the abandoned outdoor education building at Thomas Worthington High School -- opens this week along the Olentangy River bike trail.

The Mirolo Community Pavilion -- formerly the abandoned outdoor education building at Thomas Worthington High School -- opens this week along the Olentangy River bike trail.

City and Worthington City Schools officials will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, at the remodeled building, which is on the flats behind the high school, 300 W. Granville Road.

The project was a joint effort among Worthington City Schools, the city of Worthington, the Rotary Club of Dublin-Worthington and the Worthington A.M. Rotary Club. The Mirolo Charitable Foundation donated $75,000 toward the project.

"It was wonderful to see the partnership for this project as the community came together to make this possible," said Jennifer Best, school board and Rotary club member. "The building was well-used as an outdoor education center when my kids were little, and it is wonderful that the community and schools will be able to use it again."

Built in the 1960s, the building had been used as an outdoor education center for the schools until sometime in the late 1990s, said Tim Gehring, school district facilities manager. "After that curriculum was cut, it was used only for school district storage."

Designed by Worthington architect Peter Macrae, the building was fitted with glass oversized doors to fill the space between masonry columns so the 3,000-square-foot interior could be used year-round. The kitchen and restrooms were updated, and a gas-burning fireplace was replaced with a gas-log fireplace.

Gehring said the school district set aside $163,000 for the project, and with the $75,000 grant from Mirolo, about $88,000 remained to be funded when the project was approved last year.

Since then, Worthington donated $25,000; individual donor William Cooper gave $20,000; and the rest was raised by the two Rotary clubs.

Gehring said Cooper and the other donors would be recognized during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Gehring said the pavilion would be available for rental by school and community groups or individuals, but it won't be accessible to individuals from the bike trail.

"We anticipate that booster groups and other civic organizations will want to rent it out, along with private rentals for parties and things," Gehring said. "We will have information about rental rates and other details by the first of the year."

He said environmental science classes and other classes also likely would use the facility.

Athletics banquets and other events also could be held there, Best said.

"We have so many athletic practices in that area, and it could be a key space for banquets and meetings and for youth booster groups," she said. "It will be a great gathering place for our community."

Other organizations that have benefited from the Mirolo Charitable Foundation's grants include the Pontifical College Josephinum, St. Agatha Church in Upper Arlington and the historical barn in Sunny 95 Park in Upper Arlington.