Golden Ears Preschool may need a new home

The Golden Ears Preschool has been part of downtown’s landscape for years, since 1988, first out of the old Cam Neely arena...

The Golden Ears Preschool has been part of downtown’s landscape for years, since 1988, first out of the old Cam Neely arena, then the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre.

But next August, it could be hunting for a new home if it loses out in a competitive bid process for use of the city-owned space.

And that worries the non-profit Golden Ears Preschool Association, which counts on volunteers to help with the administrative chores.

“We’ve been there a long time,” says Blake Whitelaw, one of the directors of the association.

Successive generations have had their first few years of school there and one former student is now a director, while another former student did her teaching practicum there.

Whitelaw said if the preschool loses out on the bid and can’t resign a lease, it will have to look elsewhere. A new location could mean costly renos and rents higher than the $600 a month they pay now.

“There’s a whole bunch of unknowns for us right now,” said Whitelaw.

“It’s kind of scary, because we’ve been a partner with the city for 28 years. Especially for the teachers, it’s a real stressful situation.”

Currently, there are 51 pre-schoolers attending the school, open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After those hours, the city uses the space for other purposes.

Whitelaw says the 800 sq. foot space is in a prime location and the lease amount is a good deal.

When the Leisure Centre was built, the pre-school space was specifically built for that purpose.

Danielle Pope, with Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows parks and leisure services, says that the lease expires for good in 2016.

“This was their last right to renew,” she said. “So typically, what we would do is go out to market.”

That’s to ensure fairness in the process, she explained.

The city is also in the process of hiring a consultant who will analyze the best use of the spaces within the Leisure Centre. The city will wait until that is completed before proceeding with seeking bids on the pre-school space.

 

Just Posted

Sale final of historic Mussallem Motors property

Plans are to put up two towers, 319 homes in downtown Maple Ridge

UPDATED: Man reportedly stabbed with ‘pen’ in downtown Maple Ridge

Woman arrested, man refused to go to hospital: Ridge Meadows RCMP

Maple Ridge vet trying not to euthanize spotted salamanders

Without permits, he can only send them to zoos.

LETTER: Pitt Meadows should have lowest taxes

New council seems set on its own vision of a restyled Pitt Meadows.

Maple Ridge council wants a bolder vision for Lougheed corridor

Mayor wants big city plans for western area

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Fireballs to fill the sky Friday for brightest meteor shower of the year

Geminid meteor shower features colourful, brighter, longer shooting stars

SkyTrain strike averted after ‘eleventh-hour deal’ reached

CUPE 7000 says ‘marathon bargaining session’ led to tentative agreement with BC Rapid Transit

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

Small Fraser Valley district listed among top five per capita in B.C.

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

15-year-old charged following threat to South Surrey high school

Police announce pair of teens arrested for Nov. 14 incident at Elgin Park Secondary

TransLink CEO ‘hopeful’ SkyTrain shutdown can be averted with last-minute deal

No extra buses will be on the roads if strike goes ahead

Most Read