The Milton S. Hershey School, the nation's largest residential school for impoverished children, said last week that it would resume its expansion toward 2,000 students.

The acclaimed school halted construction because of the recession, officials said earlier this year.

The Hershey School will remodel two existing homes for students and begin construction in 2011 of four new group homes - for a net gain of six homes. Each home lodges about 12 students and married houseparents.

The school now enrolls 1,800 students and has an endowment of $7 billion to $8 billion.

Enrollment has been controversial at the 100-year-old institution. About 1,000 students attended in the late 1930s. The number of students peaked in the early 1970s around 1,550 and then fell to 1,000 in the late 1990s, even as its endowment soared to several billion dollars and the Hershey School accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in unspent income for disadvantaged children.

The charity proposed using some of those funds for a research institute, but a court rejected the plan in 1999. - Bob Fernandez