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Co-op preschool finds new home at former court room
The Vashon-Maury Island Coop-erative Preschool recently relocated from its home at the PlaySpace to the former King County court room at Courthouse Square.
“It’s perfect for us,” said Tami Brockway Joyce, who until recently served as the president of the school’s board.
The new space has a wall of windows that looks out to trees, she said, and they plan to build a new playground with raised garden beds and fence off a paved area for bike and scooter riding.
A second classroom has been designated just for toddlers, but the room will be open to co-op families when the toddler class, which meets just once a week, is not in session. There will also be a weekly afternoon when co-op parents can drop their child off at the school for child care, she said.
The preschool is affiliated with North Seattle College, and Brockway Joyce said they hope to invite some of the professionals who speak at the college to offer public presentations at the new space. There are some new board members with considerable energy and an increase in membership, she noted.
“It feels like a time for building,” she added.
The school’s members had been happy at the PlaySpace, according Heidi Jackson, the new board president. But Vashon Youth & Family Services, which owns the building, informed them the agency would likely have to raise the rent because of its recent loss of state funding that had been designated by the Vashon Alliance to Reduce Substance Abuse (VARSA) to go to programs at the PlaySpace.
“That got the wheels turning,” Jackson said. “We thought if we need to pay more, what can we get for more?”
Jackson and Brockway Joyce credit Tom Bangasser, the owner of Courthouse Square, with working with the preschool and making the move possible. The school is now paying just slightly more than it had been before, Jackson said.
“The whole school is jazzed about this move,” Brockway Joyce said.