• The Rep - A Dolls House

Childhood Center To Continue At Oak Knoll In Clayton

New organization formed to replace Clayton Child Center

file photo (click for larger version)
April 11, 2012
As the result of actions by motivated parents and a lease transfer approved by Clayton officials, there will continue to be an early childhood facility located at Oak Knoll Park for at least five more years.

At its March 27 meeting, the Clayton Board of Aldermen approved a lease for #1 Oak Knoll Park to the recently formed Clayton Early Childhood Center. The facility had been home to the Clayton Child Center since 1991. Earlier this year the Clayton Child Center announced its intentions to close at the end of the current school year due to financial difficulties.

A group of parents then met with the intent of forming a new group — a board of directors for the Clayton Early Childhood Center — to continue early education at the site. In addition to a number of students, some faculty will stay on with the new group. About half of the students attending the Clayton Child Center are either Clayton residents or are children of people who work in Clayton.

The current lease expires in June, at which time an amended and restated lease will be developed. The new lease is for five years with a five-year extension. No lease payments will be required for the first seven months of the lease. In the first year, beginning in 2013, payments will be $2,500 a month. In the second year, monthly lease payments will be $5,000 a month. In the third, fourth and fifth years, the lease will call for $7,500 a month.

The agreement also contains provisions relating to improvements to facilities at Oak Knoll Park. One of those provisions states that capital improvements made in the first five years by Clayton Early Childhood Center, as part of a mutually agreed plan, will be paid for by that organization. However, after the five-year lease expires, should it not be extended, the city will reimburse the organization for 50 percent of those costs.

Another provision relates to the building of a new playground to the north of the child center to replace an existing playground. The Clayton Early Childhood Center will reimburse the city for half the cost of the playground, which is estimated between $150,000 to $250,000. The playground will be similar in design to a new playground recently installed in Shaw Park. Plans call for the new playground to be completed by December 2013.

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