Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Preschool: Extend lease


The Chilkat Valley Preschool is asking the Haines Borough Assembly to once again extend its lease for the Human Resources Building until it can move into a new home, which it hopes will be an addition to the Haines Senior Center.

The ordinance extending the lease had its first public hearing last week, and is set for passage Tuesday after a second public hearing.

The current lease expires June 30, with a provision that the preschool start paying $500 this month. The group is also asking the borough waive that rent in addition to granting the extension through June 30, 2017.

“We need to have a safe, secure, licensed and inexpensive home for CVP for the next year. At this point finding an alternate site and getting it licensed through the state in time for the next school is year is going to be extremely difficult, potentially impossible,” said office manager Tracey Harmon.

The current lease includes a provision that waives the rent if the CVP provides the borough with documentation that a suitable structure for the preschool has been obtained. The CVP submitted its Memorandum of Understanding with Southeast Senior Services supporting the idea of an addition to the Senior Center.

Harmon said the preschool has operated rent-free out of the Human Resources Building for 40 years, and that charging $500 a month would force the organization to consider increasing tuition, cutting or ending the scholarship program, or cutting staff.

The preschool was looking at temporarily moving into the basement of the Presbyterian Church until the Senior Center addition is complete, but a fire marshal inspection determined a new sprinkler system would need to be installed to meet licensing requirements, said Sarah Elliott.

“Our back-up plan is no longer an option,” Elliott said.

Assembly member George Campbell balked at the extension request, expressing frustration that the preschool has repeatedly sought lease extensions after promising they would find a new facility.


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