A bi-partisan bill signed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine over the weekend is providing $1 million dollars to the Mahoning Valley Community School. That money, combined with $2.5 million in federal funds already in hand, will be used to build a new addition to the school so they can better engage area youth.

The school is located off South Avenue, near I-680. The new addition will be built where a parking lot is on the property and will house a gymnasium, art therapy studio, wellness center and additional classrooms.

The Mahoning Valley School is a drop out prevention and recovery school that focuses on engaging youth who are at-risk of not completing high school due to barriers and other adversity in life.

Superintendent Jennifer Merrit says it is an exciting project because it helps address the issue of youth violence by engaging with the students, providing workforce development, putting them in collaborative learning spaces and connecting them with meaningful opportunities.

Merritt says they are meeting with the architects soon for the new addition and they hope it will be completed in 2025.

Merritt says they are also working on coming up with a transportation plan for their students. Youngstown City Schools recently canceled busing for high school students and they were responsible for the Community School students. Merritt says they will get it figured out and are talking with a number of community partners.