Tom Schidel, inventor, businessman, and co-founder of RotoCast/TerraCast has donated $1M to help the 64-acre Environmental Learning Center continue its expansion with the new event pavilion in Wabasso. Tom’s pledge with fund design and construction as well as maintenance of the Wabasso Island campus’s Education and Event Pavilion. With a capacity of 500, the pavilion will be an outdoor facility where concerts and other large scale events can be held. Drawn to the project because of the Environmental Learning Center’s mission to raise up steward for the environment, Tom is excited to be a part of the project which will safeguard Indian River County and all its beauty.
Tom Schidel was Chief Design Engineer for Rubbermaid when he was asked by Bob Grossman to join him in a new venture. A week later, Tom met Bob in Miami, Florida, and RotoCast, was born. The company quickly grew to be a leader in rotational molding products with proprietary lines including planters, toolboxes, lampposts, and more. Bought out by Rotonics in 1998, Bob and Tom never lost their innovative entrepreneurial spirit and along with Bob Cornwall, started a new company called GSC industries. In 2010, Rotonics closed and its two main proprietary lines – TerraCast® Planters and Lampposts – returned to Bob Grossman and Tom Schidel. The roto-molding industry was reborn as TerraCast® LLC.
Tom is excited about this new project and hopes to be involved in every aspect of the project, in fact, the Event Pavilion and Oval will be named the Thomas R. Schidel Education & Event Pavilion and Oval. The groundbreaking was held on April 14, 2021. Tom’s generous donation will fund this central aspect of the Environmental Learning Center’s master plan which will include the venue for 500, a large turf oval, surrounded by native plants where visitors can enjoy educational programs, live music, and lectures. The facility, when complete, will also be available for private functions. As the project has re-affirmed his own love of nature, Tom hopes the pavilion and oval will do the same for all who visit.