Chilkat Valley Preschool officials say they’ll be looking at alternatives – including acquiring the Haines Borough’s Human Resources Building, their current home – in the wake of a Haines Borough school board decision against siting the program at the Haines School.

Preschool board president Alissa Henry said the other option was possibly using space in the Presbyterian Church basement on a temporary basis before partnering with another organization at another location.

Henry said she’s still gathering information about the options.

The borough hasn’t technically offered the Human Resources Building, the 110-year-old former Bureau of Indian Affairs school on First Avenue. “They’ve said, ‘Give us a proposal,’” Henry said. “We’ve had that conversation. Now we’re seeing if we could do that.”

Some preschool board members previously supported taking over the borough building but a majority on the board had concerns, including how to maintain the aging structure into the future.

“We’d have added costs with insurance. We can’t incur any more costs, with the cuts from the borough we’re already taking,” Henry said. (The Haines Borough Assembly recently cut the borough contribution to the group from $13,000 to $3,900.)

Henry said recent discussion of siting the preschool within the Haines School exposed some misconceptions. The preschool is a private, nonprofit corporation like the state fair and public radio station KHNS, not a day-care service, which is a for-profit business. “The preschool doesn’t benefit one individual. It benefits the whole community.”

Also, the school is certified by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, requiring it to follow state guidelines for early childhood education incorporating music, art, movement, science and community development, said Renee Hoffman, who recently served as office manager.

Preschool teachers are required to receive 20 hours of early childhood education credits annually and to assess students to ensure they’ve reached educational milestones, Hoffman said.

Henry said the preschool board will meet next week to discuss options.