The non-profit preschool has been raising money for a new building for about a year. Their current facility is borough-owned, and they’ve been given a deadline to move out.
But the preschool’s situation changed this spring, when the Haines school district suggested moving the preschool into the school building. The school board approved a memorandum of understanding between the district and the preschool.
The MOU is a five-year agreement in which the preschool would pay for utilities, but not rent. The two parties still need to work out the details of the agreement.
Preschool office manager Renee Hoffman says, since it looks like they won’t need a new facility now, people are wondering what will happen to the money they raised.
“The questions came to us, ‘what are you guys going to do with the money?’” Hoffman said. “Some people said, ‘I gave specifically for a building, I don’t want it to be used for operations.’”
The preschool had about $100,000 that could go to a new facility. But Hoffman says about $25,000 was the non-profit’s general fund money, and about $20,000 was a pledge. Hoffman says the total money donated by the Haines community for a new building comes to about $62,000.
The preschool board decided to set aside that $62,000 in a facility fund account. It will not be used for general operating expenses. Hoffman says, if the agreement with the school is not long-term, that money could go toward a new facility in the future.
“It depends on how permanent it ends up being at the school,” she said. “At this point, we’ve talked with them about the basics. Once we’re in there and we’re able to be there for a while and have the conversation with the school as far as if it’s renewable — the language isn’t in there yet for that. The whole puzzle isn’t completed.”
Hoffman says how long the preschool stays in the Haines School could depend on the economy. If student enrollment increases and the school needs that space, the preschool would be back looking for its own facility. And if that does happen, they’ll have the $62,000 donated by the Haines community for that purpose.