School board approves land lease to YMCA


East Jefferson County’s newest child-care center project is now official following the Port Townsend School District’s approval of a resolution to lease more than one acre of school-owned land to the Olympic Peninsula YMCA.

The school district’s board of directors unanimously approved the resolution to lease the land to the YMCA at their meeting Oct. 20, and the YMCA will be responsible for the ownership and operation of the child-care facility.

The project, called the Early Learning and Family Support Center, will be located on the eastern side of the Port Townsend High School campus near the tennis and pickleball courts.

The center will be built on approximately 1.16 acres of vacant land formerly used for physical education classes, and it is expected to be completed by mid-2024, according to the school district.

Residents on the Olympic Peninsula have long struggled to find adequate child-care services due to a lack of availability with current daycare centers, with parents facing multi-year waiting lists just to secure one spot.

Coming in with an estimated budget of $2.5 million to build the facility, the Early Learning and Family Support Center could assist up to 40 children between ages
6 weeks to 5 years.

The majority of funds needed for the center are expected to come from Jefferson County, grant and foundation funding, and federal money.

The idea, planning, and other prep work to get the project going didn’t happen overnight, however, with an assortment of local organizations and entities playing a part in bringing it forward.

“It really excites me knowing that we could support our community this way, and I promise that we will do everything we can at the high school to make sure that we are good neighbors to our YMCA and this center,” said Port Townsend High School Principal Carrie Ehrhardt during the school board’s meeting.

The center will not only offer daycare services, but will also provide family support services with a family resource navigator to assist kids and families in need.

Other components include a commercial kitchen to offer kids food year-round, six classrooms, a meeting/community room, playground, and parking and drop-off area.

Jefferson Healthcare began research into the daycare needs of the local community in 2020, completing a report that included a survey of local residents, a site feasibility study for the high school property, a wide range of data collection, a needs assessment, and other related data for the child-care project.

One of the key figures behind the idea for the daycare center and report was the hospital’s Dr. Molly Parker, who spearheaded the planning and prep needed to propell the Early Learning and Family Support Center from vague idea to concrete plan.

As for the next steps to get the center from blueprint to finished building, the YMCA must agree to the land lease.

“The earliest day to execute the lease would be
45 days later on Monday,
Dec. 12,” said Linda Rosenbury, superintendent for the school district.




(function(d, s, id) {
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//”;
fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);
}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Like it? Share with your friends!


What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
confused confused
fail fail
fun fun
geeky geeky
love love
lol lol
omg omg
win win


Leave a Reply