Our School plans move to bigger digs
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A plan by a Glenwood Springs preschool and toddler care facility to buy its own property will help it meet some of the pent-up demand for its services by local parents.Purchasing property also will help secure the long-term viability of Our School, which has been renting since opening in 1997.Our School operates at 2512 S. Grand Ave. but plans to buy property down the road at 3126 S. Grand.Our School director Jayme Goscha said the move could allow the facility to expand from 45 children to about 60. The exact number will be determined by a licensing agent and be based on square footage, she said.She said the property has a house that will serve 3- to 5-year-olds, and a detached garage will be remodeled to accommodate an infant and toddler center. A full basement could be renovated later to allow for more expansion of facilities.
Goscha said demand for preschool and day care is so high that Our School had about 150 names on a waiting list during its last enrollment period.”We haven’t even been accepting names to put on the list, we’ve had so many,” she said.Owning property will free Our School from being subject to fast-rising rent. That has been an uncontrollable operating cost that it has been passing on to parents.”Our only option is to keep raising tuition and then we’re not really serving working families anymore,” Goscha said.As a nonprofit, it also will be exempt from paying property taxes on its new home, whereas as a tenant, rent payments could include those property taxes, she said.
Our School plans to close on the new property April 2, and its current lease expires at the end of May. That will give it time to ready its future home and move in, Goscha said.The property will cost $525,000. Our School is seeking federal assistance in the form of grants or loan guarantees to help out in the purchase and for renovation costs.Goscha said Our School has had a capital campaign going on for a few months now with the goal of buying its own property.”Around here it was just hard for us to find something that was on the market long enough for us to secure it,” she said.She said the fundraising campaign probably has raised about $40,000.
Our School has been selling tiles that donors can decorate and will be used there, and parents have been asking their employers to donate because of the importance of child care to employees, Goscha said.The property Our School is buying already is zoned commercial. Jill Peterson, a city planner, said Our School was required to submit a parking plan, which the city has approved.Contact Dennis Webb: firstname.lastname@example.org
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