Gold Ridge Preschool Repairs

07/29/2022 - City Manager Darrin Jenkins: Gold Ridge Preschool Repairs
Posted on 07/29/2022

There is a substantial shortage of preschool capacity in the County, especially for low income families. This affects the ability of children to benefit from quality programs, and the ability of parents to work. This can limit families income, and the ability of businesses to hire employees with the tight labor market we face today. 


The City Council has made it a priority to preserve our local preschool at Gold Ridge. Last month we took a major step in achieving this goal when our City Council approved funding to address building issues at the Gold Ridge Preschool.


Gold Ridge Preschool is a 4Cs program for low-income families and is a critical resource for our community. The Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4Cs) operates our county’s state-funded preschool system. 4Cs offers full-time, part-time, and after-school childcare through state-funded vouchers.


The preschool currently leases a building at the Gold Ridge site from the City. Their lease extends through 2026. Unfortunately, as the building has aged, the portable classrooms are suffering from wear and tear. 


In response to the declining building conditions, City Council previously approved $200,000  towards another facility for the school. However, after an extensive search, we were unable to find a suitable alternative in Rohnert Park or Cotati at a reasonable cost. 

 

To preserve this critical educational resource, we concluded that repairing the buildings at the Gold Ridge site was our best option. Repairing the current location will allow the school to stay at the Gold Ridge site until the end of their lease. It also gives 4Cs three more years to find a suitable place to move.


Last month, our City Council granted the $200,000 originally intended for a new building, towards this repair project. Any remaining funds will be used to help cover the preschool’s relocation costs. 


Although it is uncommon for cities to get involved with challenges in education, we know how important early education is and are glad that 4Cs will continue operating at Gold Ridge.