City Closes Preschool & Gives Kids 60 Days To Get Out - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

City Closes Preschool & Gives Kids 60 Days To Get Out

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Dozens of children are being evicted from a city-owned preschool and daycare center. Parents contacted News 8, saying the city is leaving their children high and dry in the middle of the school year.

Parents picking up their children from the Kindercare Preschool in Kearny Mesa are pretty much in agreement - their kids love this school.

"I searched all the different daycares and I like this one the best, and the people here. And it's a smaller one. It's just a really good quality one," mother Stephanie Amoia said.

"The teachers have been great, the facilities are great, and we're just wondering why it's closing," father Steve Marshall said.

Two weeks ago, the city sent a notice home to parents saying it was closing down the preschool because of, "a potential for liability" and because the city needed more "... workspace and storage... to accommodate employees."

The 65 children who go to school there were given two months to get out.

"Our big concern was why can't we stay until June and finish out the school year? So we were pretty shocked," mother Lisa Byrnes said.

"[My daughter] was on a six-month waiting list and now they're closing just because they need storage? What does that say about kids and parents? They don't care. It's just stupid," mother Elizabeth Ruiz said.

A private company, Knowledge Learning Corporation, has operated the preschool for the past 14 years inside the city-owned Metropolitan Operations Center. Under terms of the agreement, city employees get discounted rates on daycare - and the private operator gets the city office space - rent-free.

"The day care center lease has been cancelled. They had a lease with the city that they paid no rent on," Metropolitan Wastewater Assistant Director Bob Ferrier said.

Ferrier told us the city didn't really need the office space. It was more about the money.

"We're going to use the office space, but we can't have a situation where we have a profit-making enterprise not paying any rent," he said.

The mayor's office told us the wastewater and water departments are merging, so office space is an issue. Either way, the children are out of luck.

Knowledge Learning Corporation told News 8 they were willing to pay rent on the city building, and the eviction notice came as a big surprise. They are promising to find alternate daycare locations for both the children and the teachers.

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