The current Chilkat Valley Preschool building.

The current Chilkat Valley Preschool building.

The Chilkat Valley Preschool Building Project is rocketing forward. On Tuesday the group cleared another hurdle with the approval of a resolution by the Haines Borough Assembly. The resolution allows the borough to help with a Rasmuson Foundation grant application.

In the last three months, the group charged with organizing the CVP-Haines Senior Center collaboration has done some impressive work.

Sierra Jimenez is on the CVP project steering committee. She updated the assembly Tuesday on the fundraising progress, and said that in order for the group to start the Rasmuson grant process, they needed borough support.

“We had raised $60,000 in the capital campaign when we turned this in, since then we’ve had another $25,000 donation, which is huge, and a local business has given a $15,000 in-kind contribution,” she told the assembly. “That puts our total now at $189,000 for our $400,000 project.”

That figure puts them just $10,000 away from being able to submit a letter of inquiry to the Rasmuson Foundation. The foundation stipulates in this case that an organization has to raise half of its total goal to ask for the grant. And while the steering committee has taken on the bulk of the effort, since the building in question is owned by the borough, the Rasmuson application has to come from the municipality.

CVP, which offers early childhood education to nearly 30 3- and 4-year-olds, has been working on finding a new home for a few years. The borough-owned Human Resources Building on has been the non-profit’s home for about 40 years, but is showing its age. The plans for housing the preschool in a senior center addition have really picked up steam in the last few months.

Jimenez said the project group is hoping the Rasmuson grant will be worth around $150,000.

“We can do this! It’s pretty exciting.”

All but one assembly member supported the idea.

“I don’t want this anywhere near our staff at this point because we’ve already got people overloaded,” said George Campbell, who phoned into the meeting from Sitka. “Again, let’s give them the building and let them do it themselves so we don’t have to be a part of the grant process. We don’t have enough manpower to get our priorities done.”

Interim Manager Brad Ryan assured the assembly that the steering committee will take care of most of the work involved – filling out the application and administering the funds. He said “it shouldn’t be a problem at all.”

Most assembly members offered congratulations on the effort. Here’s Ron Jackson:

“I think it’s really cool that this is has even come to pass like it has. It’s a combination of the seniors and the Chilkat Valley Preschool have really gotten together to make this a broad spectrum of people in the community that are working at this project. I’m fully in support of this.”

Jimenez said Thursday that the assembly and the people in the community really support young students and seniors working together. She said like the project’s motto reads, it really is a solution for everyone.