Former Ferndale school building to be repurposed
by Maria Spitale-Leisk
Mission Public Schools’ decision to repurpose decommissioned Ferndale elementary school as a hub for the district’s facilities department is not sitting well with its current occupant, You Care, We Care Daycare.
Owner Tamara Bridal, said the school district gave her 90 days’ notice in June to vacate the building.
“Obviously, to move 81 children in 90 days is huge,” said Bridal.
She began leasing the space from the school district shortly after Ferndale elementary closed in June 2008. She said the school setting is conducive for childcare, and she figures it should only be used for that purpose.
Mission board of education vice-chair Jim Taylor confirmed the school district’s plans to reoccupy the Ferndale site.
“We will actually be relocating our facilities department to Ferndale to help improve and refocus Riverside College and bring all our facilities together in a single operation,” said Taylor.
Calling Ferndale the school district’s “best building,” Taylor said the gym makes a good warehouse space and the classrooms can easily be converted for office use.
Bridal questions why the school district, in the face of a $3.9-million operating deficit, would turn away a revenue generator.
Taylor estimated that Bridal’s rent accounts for about half of Ferndale’s operating cost.
Still, news that their daycare is facing an imminent move — the school district has now extended Bridal’s lease until December — was concerning to some parents.
Christy Jones, who has two kids attending the daycare, said she chose this facility because the setting didn’t feel institutionalized.
She is hoping the school district will reconsider allowing You Care, We Care Daycare to continue operating in the current space.