I have been in the real estate development business since 1982. In 2007, a good friend asked me to sit on the board of an aging non-profit preschool in a historically high-risk neighborhood here in Charlotte. This preschool was challenged by its out-of-date facility and dwindling enrollment, but had been presented the possibility of swapping its land for a new facility. While the overall economy had not started its decline at that point, the events of October 2008 started a significant contraction in the real estate development business, and in ways I could not have imagined, this contraction presented me with the opportunity to immerse myself in the process of learning about early education and child care. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a divinely inspired journey.
It was no accident that I met other child care professionals during this due diligence process who exposed me to research that reiterated the importance of children’s learning environment in the “first years” and the effects it plays on the their success in primary school, and it amplified the demand for this type of progressive full day preschool program in our community. This motivated me to look for a location for this school in the summer of 2009. After exploring many options nothing we looked at was conducive for our school. I was disappointed but I didn’t give up.
In the fall of 2010, after a simultaneous (and to me miraculous) exchange of email and voice mail with a friend and the former owner of our property, the conversations to buy our property began in earnest. I remember telling my wife Betsy that many challenges would have to be resolved, but, this location was worth the effort that would be required to clear the development hurdles. I wanted her support and she gave it wholeheartedly. My experience in the development business kept me from getting too excited as we cleared these hurdles one by one. I remember telling Betsy right after we received our rezoning approval that “I think this is really going to happen.”
We will be honored if you enroll, or even consider enrolling, your child at Providence Preparatory School, and we will do our best to provide your child with the best beginning to their life of learning.