Child care center says it may be forced to close its doors and leave families in a lurch
The Union County Board of Developmental Disabilities may go to court with the World of Wonders child care center at the Harold Lewis Center on Charles Lane.
WOW executive director Lauren Fontaine said they have occupied the building for over 21 years and now are being forced to move. Fontaine said they can't find appropriate space in Marysville and they could be forced to close. About 20 people would lose their jobs and some 115 families would have no affordable child care said Fontaine. WOW is run by a parent and community board of trustees. WOW accepts an unlimited number of state subsidized families as well as private pay customers.
Union County Commissioner Gary Lee said they have been talking to WOW about relocating for several years. Lee said they took the issue to mediation and talks broke down so he thinks a judge will have to interpret what their contract means.
"D D's problems are real. Their space problems are real and this isn't a conflict-- I don't like somebody and I want them out of the building," said Lee. "I think we have worked to try to not get to this point, I am very frustrated that we are at this point."
Rene Deniston is a parent board member at WOW, a non-profit center.
"I literally would be devastated if this center were to close.
The staff here, the teachers here they have been amazing with my kids. My daughter is ready for kindergarten, she is prepared, they are like family, they ask about them if we see them out they hug them.
Those families are depending on us for somewhere to take their kids. Obviously we try to keep our costs down. Our board is always looking for ways to cut costs, also we put everything back into the center," said Deniston.
The executive director of WOW Lauren Fontaine said they don't want to leave families in a lurch and they have tried to find other space in the community but so far have not succeeded. Currently they have about 11,000 square feet in their building.
"In Union County there is a building shortage and right now there are just no buildings that meet our needs immediately."
Parents said they are worried the center will close leaving them no options. So far no court date has been set.