[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The B-Town Blog, nor its staff:]

Dear Editor,

The Burien Cooperative Preschool (BCP) has created a one-of-a-kind play-based learning environment for children ages 1-5 and their parents for over 60 years. At BCP, our school belongs to our children.

Due to recent events at the Annex we are reaching out to you and our community at large. We need your help! Please visit our gofundme account to learn more about how you can help:

The untimely circumstances at the Annex have placed BCP at a cross roads. Our 2020/2021 budget has been set and does not come close to being able to cover the expenses for an immediate move or the inventory that we stand to loose.

We rely on volunteer hours from our families to conduct the business of the school. This unexpected move will demand a huge investment of time beyond what our parents who have jobs, families with children ages 1 to 5 and up, holiday plans and other obligations, are able to reasonably contribute.

Moving our school requires massive physical labor and man-hours to disassemble, haul, and reassemble indoor structures, outdoor playgrounds with a ton of sand, outbuildings, landscape features, tools, equipment, and toys! Lots and lots of toys!

The economic cost for this labor and construction will be substantial as we have determined that at a minimum we will need to hire professional movers in order to relocate in the amount of time given.  We may also need to rent storage space if unable to find a suitable location.

Our constituency is the main driver of our revenue and is how we are able to maintain day-to-day operations. We are not funded by grants or other outside sources. As we are unable to actively recruit and enroll prospective students for 2020/2021, or if we lose existing students due to the order to vacate, we project a significant loss of enrollment and consequently revenue.

All said, BCP is in jeopardy of significant economic loss, which will take years to fully recover from.  BCP board members and families have collectively tallied nearly 200 volunteer hours this past week to begin the process of relocation:

    • A committee to research potential future sites has been formed.
    • Families are organizing to assist with the physical relocation of the school.
    • Two emergency meetings have been held with our board and our families to brainstorm: Possible new locations; Ways to move efficiently; Maintain cohesiveness in our children’s lives while interrupting their education; Address sudden changes in our families’ schedules that will alter their childcare needs as they can no longer count on our classes during this transition.
    • We have and will continue to meet with the City of Burien and other tenants of the Annex to look at any and all possible remedies.

It will likely be that even with the aid of the City of Burien’s transition team (which has been scant to date), the financial implications we are facing seriously threaten the future of BCP. And sadly, we are not confident that the City of Burien will be able to support BCP in the expenses of our move and diminished revenue.

There have been thousands of lives transformed by BCP over the past 60 years. We urge our community to come together to help our nearly 70 current students and ensure thousands of future children are able to experience the magic of BCP.

Again, please visit our gofundme account to learn more about how you can help monetarily, manually, or morally:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/vr4gf-help-us-move-bcp039s-magical-environment-in-2020

Sincerely,
Tracy Ostrem
President, Burien Cooperative Preschool
On behalf of the Burien Cooperative Preschool board and membership

EDITOR’S NOTE: Do you have something you’d like to share with our highly engaged local Readers? If so, please email your Letter to the Editor to scottscha(at)gmail.com and, pending review and verification, we may publish it. Letter writers must use their full names, cite sources – as well as provide an address and phone number (NOT for publication but for verification purposes).