The City of Loveland intends to purchase the current New Vision Charter School and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Larimer County building on East First Street for $3.75 million for use as a child care center and affordable offering in the to expand city.
City officials announced plans in a Friday press release to work with the Boys & Girls Club and other nonprofit partners on a comprehensive childcare campus at 2366 E. First St.
But first, Loveland City Council must approve the purchase and the source of the money. The elected board of directors is scheduled to vote on an additional allocation of funds for the purchase as well as the collection of capital expansion fee money at its meeting on Tuesday.
Nearly $1.8 million would come from state capital expansion fees, while about $1.96 million would come in the form of a loan from the Parks & Recreation Department’s recreational capital expansion fee pool, according to information before the city council.
“The concept is a place-based campus approach that will house multiple nonprofit and government entities specializing in providing direct services needed by families, with a prominent focus on childcare and youth programs and mental health,” according to the information in the Loveland City Council online agenda added. “The purchase will bring many more affordable and inclusive childcare places to the Loveland community.”
This plan is the culmination of more than a year of collaboration between the city and its community partners to find ways to address Loveland’s lack of affordable childcare, the release said.
During the pandemic, childcare costs have risen 41%, with families spending up to 20% of their paychecks on these expenses, on average, according to the Colorado Office of Early Childhood.
According to the press release, the vision for the building is a larger childcare campus that aims to provide residents with affordable options. The town’s Small Fries Preschool and ABCD-licensed summer day camp will expand, and the Boys & Girls Club will remain on-site.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with the City of Loveland and other providers to address the child care crisis in our community,” said Kaycee Headrick, CEO of Boys & Girls Club, in the release. “Now more than ever, youth and families need access to safe, quality and affordable childcare and youth development services.”
Also in the future, the municipal leisure office could move to the second floor of the building.
If the city council approves the purchase, the sale would be completed in March.
The city plans to then lease the building back to New Vision at a rate of $21,623 per month through July 2023, when the charter school plans to move its younger classes out of that building to a new location, according to information in the Agenda and the press release.
The city will purchase the building, but going forward, the Boys & Girls Club “would have the option to purchase the building from the city once adequate funding is secured and will continue to operate,” the press release said.
“It’s an all-round win-win when the city can work with others to improve opportunities for people in our community,” Elizabeth Kayl, director of the Loveland Parks & Recreation Department, said in the release. “This project allows Parks & Recreation to expand our affordable childcare services while advancing the City Strategic Plan initiatives by targeting investments in community infrastructure that have a greater impact.”