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COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : BUENA PARK

Day-Care Center Will Remain at Beatty

May 11, 2000|ANDRE BRISCOE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Buena Park school board voted earlier this week to not cancel the final year of a private day-care center's lease on the Gordon H. Beatty Elementary School campus, relieving some parents' fears, at least for now.

The decision comes two weeks after the board voted to revisit its March 27 decision to cancel ABC Academic Preschool and Day-Care Center's final year, effective June 30.

The move was a response to a projected increase in Beatty Elementary's enrollment next fall. Beatty currently has an enrollment of more that 1,200 students.

The decision also allows Beatty transfer students who don't live in the Buena Park district to continue there next year.

Parents who have protested the board's original decision appeared to be pleased with the outcome but were still concerned about their children's future.

"I'm very happy, but I'm unclear as to what will happen next year," said Jennifer Cummings, whose 6- and 10-year-old sons attend ABC Academy. "I really wish the board could have put a long-term project in place."

But Dan Nelson, owner of ABC Academy, said the vote at least gives him time to find a larger site for the school.

"We're excited about the vote," Nelson said. "We are eventually looking to expand the preschool, and this gives us more time if we need it."

Under the agreement, the school district will build three new modular buildings and one restroom at Beatty rather than force ABC Academy to relinquish the four modular units it now occupies.

The additional buildings would also allow the transfer students to remain at Beatty.

Several other options were rejected, including one which would have used the school's multipurpose room to accommodate additional students.

Many parents were in favor of a plan which would have declared the buildings used by ABC as surplus and open them up for bids by competing day-care providers every five years.

"We were pushing for the surplus building option, but having the lease upheld is the next best solution at this time," parent Melvin Galloway said. "So we might be right back here doing this again next year."

Andre Briscoe can be reached at (714) 966-5848.

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