Canton's Golden Key Center renovation and expansion moving ahead

Posted on January 02, 2023

Golden Key
Golden Key
Golden Key

In partnership with The Repository, every Monday, Stark Community Foundation highlights positive happenings in our community. Here’s to Good News Mondays!

The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children is well on its way to serving more local students with special needs by undergoing a $2.5 million renovation and expansion.

The Golden Key is a non-profit, non-public special needs school providing quality education and intervention services for preschoolers through eighth-grade students with autism and other cognitive disabilities. Students from 13 of the 18 Stark County school districts attend The Golden Key, but enrollment is limited due to the school’s available space. The school is at maximum capacity with a growing waiting list of area families needing its services, making this renovation and expansion project crucial for our community.

The center, 1431 30th Street NW in Canton, will be increasing classroom, office and therapy spaces and constructing a new gymnasium, additional restrooms and a family living center to accommodate for enrollment growth and increased programming. Since the groundbreaking in mid-May, the renovation of most of the building’s interior has been completed.

“The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children is excited that the building renovation and expansion project is progressing quite well,” said Gina Bannevich, operations director of The Golden Key.

The Golden Key’s former gymnasium has been renovated into seven classrooms and six therapy and office spaces, allowing for an initial 20% increase in enrollment. Seven new staff members were also hired to support the enrollment growth and maintain the school’s quality of education.

“That is 20% more families The Golden Key is able to serve in the community,” added Bannevich.

The remainder of the renovation of the existing building, including the much-needed additional bathroom space, will be open for use when students and staff return from winter break.

The new gymnasium and family living center is currently ahead of schedule, thanks to the mild fall weather. The walls, floors, windows, concrete and steel are in place and ready for interior work to begin as the winter sets in.

Learn more about The Golden Key and its renovation and expansion project at

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