Press Release: $125K gift and signed lease for 3500 sq ft in the STEAM building

STEAM building

By // May 30, 2015


LightHouse Personalized Education for Teens receives $125,000 to build new facility in Holyoke’s Race St. STEAM building

After nine months of conversations and planning, LightHouse Personalized Education for Teens has signed a 10-year lease with Lori Divine and the partners of SPS Investments, LLC for 3500 sq ft. on the second floor of STEAM building at 208 Race St. in the Innovation District of Holyoke.

“It has been a joy to work with LightHouse through the planning stages,” said Divine, “and we are thrilled to come to this long term arrangement.  It’s an exciting moment in the Innovation District with new developments at Gateway City Arts and all along Race St.  Things are happening fast, and we are enthusiastic about LightHouse coming to be part of it.”

Thanks to a large gift from a major donor, construction on the 3500 sq. ft. build out will begin in the next two weeks, to be ready by mid-August.  LightHouse is extremely grateful for the support of philanthropist and alternative education advocate, Gaye Hill, who recently gave LightHouse $125,000 for the creation of a state-of-the-art facility in the STEAM building.

“Thanks to Gaye’s generosity and vision, we are creating a beautiful and ideal space for teens in Hampden County who are inspired to pursue their educations in a whole new way,” said LightHouse Co-Director, Josiah Litant.  “LightHouse offers personalized education to teens aged 13-18, with Pathways in entrepreneurship, arts, tech, and college prep, as well as other flexible options.  We’re so pleased to join in the renaissance that’s happening in Holyoke, and to make this investment in the community.”

After 10 years in the Dean’s office at Hampshire College, Litant is launching LightHouse with Co-Director, Catherine Gobron.  Gobron is in the process of leaving her 12-year position as Program Director for North Star in Hadley to open this affiliate program in Hampden County.

“LightHouse offers teens an opportunity to completely change their relationships to their educations,” says Gobron.  “It’s more than student-focused, it’s student-empowered, and completely personalized for each student.  Based on years of experience with hundreds of teens, we know that teens who are given the structure and support to explore their own interests and prepare for their own goals, thrive in a way that they did not in traditional environments.  The world becomes full of possibility rather than requirements, and the entire relationship to learning and education is transformed.  Self-reflection, community and peer connection, and joy become part of a normal day.  I am grateful for the opportunity to bring this important educational option to Hampden County.”

LightHouse will open in its brand new space in the STEAM building on September 8 with an initial cohort of 30 students ages 13-18.  The priority deadline for admission and financial aid is June 15.

Learn more at


Catherine Gobron: [email protected], 413-386-8316
Josiah Litant: [email protected], 413-687-5320

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