Wikipedia defines community centers as “public locations where members of a community tend to gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes.”

Like many folks in Mantua Township, Ellie Monroe, a long-time resident, would like to see the historic Mantua Center School building effectively used as such by her community. But instead of sitting back and waiting for it to happen, Monroe has decided to take the matter into her own hands to make that dream a reality. For six consecutive Tuesdays starting on March 12, she’s signed a contract to rent her old Alma Mater, the Center School.  

photo-1“Ideally, I’d like to provide two pot luck meals on each Tuesday, but this depends on community participation. My goal is to provide meals for the hungry and fellowship for the community,” states Monroe. In addition, she has also invited skilled local crochet buffs and knitters, and quilters of all skill levels to come and share their skills. Monroe has also secured a commitment from a local watercolor painting group to join her at the School each Tuesday. Experienced artisans, as well as those interested in learning a new skill are invited to attend.

In addition, several community service projects will be represented, including groups making quilts and crocheted or knitted blankets for the Labor & Delivery Unit at University Hospital Geauga. Volunteers will also be on hand to piece quilts for the “Home of the Brave” national program. These state volunteers honor Ohio’s fallen heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by making and presenting homemade quilts to their families.

photo-2Families from the preschool story time program held at nearby Mantua Center Christian Church have also been invited to informal, parent-run play groups at the School. A selection of books and puzzles will be available for use. In addition, both kids and adults are encouraged to bring in unwanted books and magazines to trade, clearing out the clutter at home while gaining some new reading materials.

Monroe sums up her reasons for hosting the Tuesday events, “As taxpayers, we’ve already paid for the building. I want to get the community excited about using the school by providing an opportunity to see a few of the many uses the building can have.” Center School is currently used as the Township voting precinct, and has been available for private rental since the second half of 2011. Mantua Township Fiscal Officer Marie Stehli became the first tenant last November.

For more information on the Tuesday events, contact Ellie Monroe at (330) 274-0711 or If you’d like information on renting the Mantua Center School for your own event, contact Trustee Victor Grimm at 330-274-2850.