April 3, 2017
Dear TCS Families, Friends, and Supporters -
We are writing you to update you on The Children's School and our search for a new home. Our lease with UCUCC will come to an end June 2018 - and although that is a year out, our window of time and opportunity to secure a new viable location is quickly closing.
It has come to our attention that during the last two years, 12 different preschools and childcare facilities in northeast Seattle have been adversely impacted - and in many instances, closed - due to increasing real estate costs. We have not only met with the University Partnership and Representative Rob Johnson, but also enthusiastically explored potential partnerships and shared space options. Meetings with the UW, private elementary schools, like-minded preschools, co-working spaces, and other non-profit organizations unfortunately yielded no partnership opportunities and only served to reiterate the challenging reality of the current real estate market.
Since July 2016, our Future's Committee has held regular meetings, pursued any-and-all leads, as well as pounded the real estate pavement to find a new home for TCS. We wanted to take a moment to share with you the most essential specifics of our search:
- Magnuson Park ended up being too expensive (more than $1 million retrofit)
- New construction, although it seems to be everywhere we look, is also pricey and the timeline is either too soon (move in tomorrow) or too far out (move in 2021).
- Contacted every church (via email and snail mail) in the 98105 and 98115 zip codes - this resulted in six options - many churches are looking for innovative ways to generate revenue and others have lost their congregations.
November to Present:
- Of those six churches, we have been in negotiations with TWO church spaces, both of them have lost their congregations and plan to manage their buildings as rental properties.
1. Maple Leaf Evangelical Church (1059 NE 96th Street)
2. Green Lake New Start (7400 Woodlawn Ave NE)
- We submitted Letters of Intent and Lease Proposals to each of them. We also worked with an architect and contractors to draft plans for redeveloping the open-spaces into formal classrooms, an entrance, and storage.
- Because the city permitting process is time-consuming (6 months for a permit), and construction will take 2 to 4 months, along with physically moving our school and equipment, we set a deadline of May 15th for a lease agreement.
- We recently heard from Maple Leaf Evangelical Church and regrettably, after some deliberation, their leadership has declined our proposal. We feel that we have reached the end of our negotiations with them.
- We are still progressing with Green Lake New Start and remain hopeful that our proposal will be accepted - the final deadline is May 30, 2017. We will be in touch in the coming weeks to let you know what transpires with GLNS.
In closing, we know our TCS base is strong and deeply rooted in the community in which we live, so if ANY of you know of ANY other potential real estate possibilities, please contact me immediately, as our need is urgent, and time is of the essence.
Thank you, as always, for your steadfast loyalty, and support.
Mary Lloyd, Ed.D. and Members
Executive Director TCS Future's Committee