Cazenovia Community Preschool will permanently change its address in 2013. Following a recent donation by Cazenovia resident Russ Brownback, 4.2 acres of land on Sims Lane became CCP property, and administrators hope to secure necessary funding for construction of a 1,200-square-foot facility within the next year.
“We are thinking of a one-level, ranch-style structure, so in the event we have students with special-needs we can easily accommodate them. Also, we want to keep in line with the character of the neighborhood,” said Torrey Lansing, director of Cazenovia Community Preschool Inc. “We’re hoping to make it a community project, and are trying to do as much fundraising and get as many in-kind donations as possible. We as so thankful for [Russ Brownback’s] donation. His children went to CCP, so I feel like it’s kind of a way for him to give back, not only to the preschool, but to the community.”
Currently located at the corner of Lincklaen and Nickerson streets, CCP has occupied numerous spaces since beginning in a small church room with only five students in 1969.
Lansing said the land donation is well timed, as the facility CCP currently inhabits is rented from Cazenovia College, and the institution has recently begun to look for new uses for the space.
Within the next year CCP is looking to raise about $150,000 for a survey of the land and planning costs, as well as the engineering, construction and future operation of the preschool.
Fundraising efforts began with a “Pay It Forward” event on Nov. 18 at the barn in Caz. Ten percent of the barn’s profits from the sale were given to CCP, hors d’oeuvres were donated by Circa Restaurant and Jennifer Wolsey Photography gave CCP all proceeds garnered from event photos.
CCP has also established five levels of donation for area supporters, ranging from $50 to $3,000. With his donation, Brownback not only gave the organization 4.2 acres of land, but helped CCP secure a long-term future location.
“I’m thrilled that CCP will now have a permanent home within the village,” Brownback said. “The CCP board has an impressive vision and boundless energy which will ensure that their project is ultimately a huge success. Many thanks to Mayor Wheeler for helping the various interested parties get together to create this positive outcome.”
Brownback first came into possession of the land on Sims Lane in 2010, when he purchased the parcel from a man who had owned it for more than 30 years.
Hoping to use the acreage to benefit a community organization, Brownback first offered the village of Cazenovia a chance at ownership earlier this year.
After hearing CCP would soon be charged with finding a new home, he decided to donate the land to the local non-profit group.
A survey of the parcel still needs to be performed in order to inform CCP how much of the land is solid enough to support a structure. Since the organization is only looking to build a 1,200-square-foot facility, Lansing said they will look to preserve most of the plot, and hope to include walking trails or outdoor areas local boy scouts and nature enthusiasts can utilize.
The 4.2 acres are located on the north-eastern side of Sims Lane. Lansing said meetings with the CCP Board of Directors and neighboring residents have already taken place, and are planned throughout the implementation process.
The organization will be looking for “green grants” to aid in funding the project, which will benefit both CCP and the environment of neighboring areas.
In its 42nd year of operation, CCP provides 3- and 4-year-olds from Cazenovia and the surrounding area with a nurturing and well-rounded educational experience, emphasizing cognitive, verbal, physical, social, emotional and creative development. A non-profit organization, CCP offers tuition on sliding scale, ensuring all children are offered a strong educational foundation, no matter their ability or family’s income.
For more information on CCP, as well as its officers, staff and programming, visit their website cazenoviacommunityprescchool.com, call 655-7234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or email@example.com.