Breckenridge may loan Little Red $300,000 |

Breckenridge may loan Little Red $300,000

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkBricklayers finish up on the back wall of the Little Red Schoolhouse Monday afternoon. Little Red Schoolhouse will open the doors of its new facility next spring. The 6,000-square-foot preschool at Vista Point will provide Montessori schooling to some 80 children.

BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge Town Council members will discuss at their worksession tonight whether to lend Little Red Schoolhouse (LRSH) officials $300,000 to complete construction of their new facility at Vista Point.Based on discussions held earlier this fall, it is likely the town council will approve lending the day care agency the money because the building is almost finished and it will offer much-needed services to the community.So far, LRSH has received $415,452 in donated items, $550,343 in cash and $125,000 in grants. An additional $110,000 in funds from various organizations is pending, leaving LRSH officials about $300,000 short of meeting their $1.49 million goal to complete the project.Construction is almost complete on the six-classroom, 6,000-square-foot multipurpose facility at the corner of Wellington and Reiling roads just east of downtown Breckenridge. The day care center is scheduled to open next spring.The creation of the center has been a grassroots, community activity.Vista Point developer Lance Rader donated the land to the town as part of his subdivision agreement for the center and an adjoining park.In turn, the town is leasing the land back to LRSH for $1 a year, said town manager Tim Gagen. And LRSH will pay back the $300,000 loan to the town from its operating budget. That 25-year note comes with a 5 percent interest rate.”We’re only making only 2 percent on our money right now,” Gagen said of the town’s investment portfolio. “In one sense it’s an investment over the next couple of years. But more importantly, it’s the long-term commitment to child care that council’s made repeatedly. It’s a way to help them out.”The town, which owns the land, but not the building at the French Street day care center, will get that building as part of the deal, as well.An amendment LRSH officials would like included in the new lease would permit them to rent out a portion of the facility to third parties that would offer programming related to children and parents.LRSH was founded 20 years ago as a home-based day care for 10 children, but outgrew that in three years. It expanded in 1985 to its current site on French Street. The school provides early education and childcare to 30 preschoolers.A county growth rate of 83 percent from 1990 to 2000 has resulted in the need for more day care, particularly for those in the infant to kindergarten sector. A BBC Research and Consulting study conducted in 2002 showed the county needs 30 percent more day care slots – enough for 600 children – before 2010.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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