Toyota donates engineering building in Kentucky as a school

Toyota donates engineering building in Kentucky as a school

As automaker moves management functions to Texas, new uses sought for buildings.

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Erlanger, Kentucky – As Toyota moves more management functions from Kentucky and California to its new headquarters in Texas, it has decided to donate some of its Northern Kentucky real estate to education groups. The Toyota Quality and Production Engineering Laboratory on its campus in Erlanger will become a science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM)-focused education center to serve the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati region.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin announced a $6.8 million Work Ready Skills initiative grant to Boone County Schools to adapt Toyota’s office and engineering lab into a school. Scheduled to be ready for students in fall 2019 for the 2019-2020 school year, the center will be called the Ignite Institute at Roebling Innovation Center.

Mike Goss, general manager, Toyota Social Innovation, said, “We hope to create a lasting positive impact through this school, helping prepare students for the next generation of jobs.”

The school will open initially for grades 9 through 12, with a capacity to serve 1,000 students. It will be public, free, and inclusive. Organizers envision it serving students throughout Northern Kentucky and, with additional private support and funding, the expectation is it will serve students from urban to rural areas throughout the Tri-State.

Toyota's Quality and Engineering Laboratory facility is a 183,000ft2, two-story building with expansive lab and engineering workspaces, high bay equipment areas, office spaces, high ceilings to accommodate robotics/automation, several mezzanines, and multiple elevators. The gift also includes approximately 22 acres and adjacent parking lots.

Toyota still occupies the Erlanger campus but has been transitioning from it as the company consolidates its North American headquarters in Texas. Its final team member groups are scheduled to move from the lab building by the end of 2017.