Early childhood classes moving to Heritage BuildingPublished 10:55am Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Pre-kindergarten students in Fergus Falls will be in a new, yet familiar building next fall.
The school board approved a lease agreement Monday night with Heritage Properties, LLC, for use of the building just off Highway 210 that served as the district’s administrative offices five years ago. The location will host Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) and School Readiness classes in 2013.
ECFE students have been at McKinley. However, an increase in the number of kindergarten students and a lack of space led to the decision to lease the building. According to Superintendent Jerry Ness, there are already 145 kindergarten students enrolled in the district for next year, on pace to pass this year’s enrollment of 193. Because the district wants to keep pre-school classes in McKinley so students can grow accustomed to the building, the growing number of kindergartners means less available space.
“The good news is that we’re growing,” Ness said.
The move will also be convenient for parents. Because the building is divided into two levels, there will be an easy division between older and younger students. The large parking lot and entrance will also better serve parents dropping off children and attending classes.
The school’s relationship with the building’s landlord was another positive for the move, according to Mark Masten, the district’s business manager. The building has been well kept since the district last occupied the building. Rent will also be also kept at a similar price, $6,600 a month, after adjustments for inflation are made.
The ECFE classes held in the building are provided for newborns to two year olds and their parents. Some classes of Otter preschool will also be held in the building.
The lease will begin on July 1 and end June 30, 2018.