The Solon City School District may have access to its new preschool building earlier than previously thought.

The 18,500-square-foot building at 6545 SOM Center Road (Route 91) now being rented by Learning Trails will close down this month instead of next year. Owners of the children’s daycare center last Friday announced that the business would shut its doors on Sept. 20 after eight years of operation.

The Solon Board of Education authorized a $1.7 million purchase agreement with building owner Cleveland Hebrew Schools & Institute last month and currently is engaged in the purchasing process.

Learning Trails’ owners stated in a press release that since the news of the district’s purchase came out, there has been “a bit of an unrest amongst all of us and our enrollment/valued staff have been declining. This has created a lot of economic hardship and a bigger hole in our operations.”

The owners also stated they have been unable to find another location for the business, which served Solon, Twinsburg and surrounding communities. The building formerly was home to Congregation Kol Chadash which disbanded in 2015 before being rented by Learning Trails. The congregation rented the building from Cleveland Hebrew schools.

“Thank you to our extended family and our staff for giving us eight glorious years and wish the very best in finding a new home,” the preschool press release stated.

Superintendent Joseph Regano said he heard of the daycare’s closing shortly before Monday’s school board meeting and figured it would accelerate the minor renovations the district is planning for the building. The district was told Learning Trails had a contract to be in the building through early spring of next year, Mr. Regano said.

“We won’t take possession until maybe January, so it might give us two months more,” Mr. Regano said.

“When we take over the building we don’t have to worry about not being able to do work in there because there’s a client in there. If it’s empty, then we can get in there earlier. There’s not a whole lot that needs to be done, mostly painting.”

The district plans to move its preschool operation from its current location at Arthur Road School, one of the most expensive buildings for the district to operate, to the new building, Mr. Regano said. He said Solon’s preschool could move into the building as early as fall of 2019.

“It’s specifically made for preschool and we have a preschool in an elementary building and this meets our needs much better,” he said.

Tim Tedeschi covers the Solon and West Geauga Board of Education, as well as statewide education issues, sports and features. He is a lifelong diehard Cleveland Indians fan and a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University.

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