7/1/2014 4:10:00 PM Country Corner receives donation from Casey's
By Tara Lindquist
Construction is underway at the former Casey's Convenience Store on Highway 30 in Hayfield.
Earlier this year, Country Corner Preschool ran into an issue, the owner of the building that the school is housed in was raising their monthly rent by nearly a third. "We couldn't cover that cost and keep pre-school affordable," explained Brenna Scanlan who is a board member for the school.
"The old Casey's building has been sitting empty for a few years and due to a no-compete clause the building really couldn't be used for any business." Scanlon decided to write a letter to Casey's corporate office and ask if they would be willing to donate the building to the preschool which is a non-profit organization.
When Scanlon heard back, she was a little bit shocked.
Yes, absolutely they would be willing to donate the building!
From there the building underwent some environmental studies to make sure it was safe to house a preschool and then it was turned over to Country Corner Preschool. The building was given the "all clear" and volunteers have started working on the building. The Hayfield Fire Department took out all the coolers from the store and plans on reusing them in the Fire Hall, the sheet rocking has been done and ceiling tiles have been taken down.
The Hayfield Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Authority have been instrumental in making the new pre-school happen, according to Scanlon. "They have donated money to help us renovate the building," she said. "And Justin Holton has helped in lining up contractors to do some of the work." She said the new pre-school building truly has been a community effort.
With the building being donated, the preschool, which operates as a non-profit, will now be able to invest more of the money into students' education. "We won't have a rent payment any more so we'll really be able to focus more money on education." They are looking forward to a fresh start when the school year starts.
Construction should wrap up around the end of July and they are hopeful the licensing inspections will be done by the time the school year starts. "If we don't have all the licensing done when school year starts we do have a room at the elementary school that we can use."
The school will be one big open space that is divided into different learning stations, they will be moving their outdoor playground equipment to the new school site and will have a private entrance to the new playground from the inside of the building. The school has also received a grant from People's Co-op to purchase new tables for the school. The old tables have been fixed several times. "We were really excited to get that grant," Scanlon said. "The tables were old."
The school will also be using the circus on Sunday, August 3 as one of their fundraisers for the year. The circus will be held at the Hayfield Community School grounds and will have two show times, 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. "We're still looking for volunteers to help us that day," Scanlon said.