Millbrae Nursery School has been closed for eight months after a flood damaged the building.
The oldest preschool in the county is celebrating its 75th year anniversary with an open house Saturday after a flood closed the school for eight months and caused $250,000 in damage.
Millbrae Nursery School, a nonprofit co-op preschool, previously planned an anniversary celebration for this past spring, but the event was rescheduled as the renovation nears completion.
“I love that the kids are able to develop a love of learning and are encouraged to follow their curiosity in a play-based environment,” said Kelly Lethin, a mother on the board at the school. “The teachers are very caring, and are genuinely invested in the development of the children, as well as the well-being of the families at the school. It’s a real whole-family environment.”
On a weekend this past January, a pipe burst within the schoolhouse, flooding nearly every room, damaging walls, flooring, cabinetry and school materials.
As renovations began, Matt Hodges, owner of Accel Gymnastics and a parent at the nursery, invited the school to set up a temporary classroom in his gym’s recreation room, and to use the children’s gymnastics area for active playtime. What began as a two-week stay turned into an eight-month relocation.
Nursery Director Brigidan Bogni-Rodriguez expressed her gratitude to Hodges.
“Because we were able to secure such a perfect temporary facility, we were able to transition the children seamlessly, maintain our curriculum and focus on the repairs to the schoolhouse,” Bogni-Rodriguez said in a statement. “We are extraordinarily thankful to Matt, and to the Accel family. They have been so patient and accommodating during our stay, and they have shown true co-operative spirit as they shared their facility with our families.”
Although Lethin said the school has enjoyed and appreciated the Accel space, she is looking forward to having the school’s play yard and kitchen back.
“We’ll get back to fresh air and being able to play outdoor sports and work on motor skills and have the kitchen,” Lethin said. “It’s been really challenging.”
While enrollment rates dropped during the closure, the school will be welcoming prospective families at its open house with a tour of the facility and a chance to meet the staff and alumni. Enrollment is open for the 2013-14 school year.
Lethin said there is much to like about the school.
“I really love the diversity that all the different families bring to the school,” Lethin said. “It’s been really special to our family. I love how every family is able to contribute something that is one of their own strengths like music and dance.”
All are welcome, though RSVPs appreciated by calling 589-3028. The event runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at 86 Center St. in Millbrae.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105