The Oregon Community Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Baker School District to support the Baker Early Learning Center, Superintendent Mark Witty announced Wednesday in a press release.
The grant comes from the Judith K. Hofer Philanthropic Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).
Witty expressed the District’s gratitude for the investment from the Judith K. Hofer Fund and for the ongoing relationship between the District and the OCF.
About 25,000 square feet of the 40,000-square-foot North Baker School building at 2725 Seventh St. will be refurbished for the center’s use. Interior work will include painting, flooring, ceilings, plumbing, electrical upgrades and window replacement. Portions of the exterior (excluding the tuff stone construction on the oldest part of the school) will be painted. A new parking lot will be added and other site improvements will be made as well.
Sid Johnson & Co. of Baker City was awarded the contract for the job and work has begun, Witty said. Preschool classes are scheduled to start in four renovated classrooms on Oct. 5.
Brooklyn Primary School at 1350 Washington Ave. will continue to house kindergarten classes in the modular buildings on that site this fall. The kindergartners will be moved to North Baker classrooms in 2021.
The total cost of the Baker Early Learning Center project is $2.3 million. The $100,000 OCF grant will be added to another $200,000 in grant funding to help pay for the construction.
Other funding includes a District contribution of $96,158; $1.8 million from the Oregon Student Investment Act; and $80,000, from Preschool Promise, the Oregon Department of Education’s Early Learning Division.