The Schoolhouse in Poncha Springs

The Schoolhouse in Poncha Springs celebrates joining the Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce with a remote ribbon cutting ceremony recently. Front row, from left: Kayleigh Clarno, 7, Shawn Clarno, 9, Neil McClelland, 10, and Forrest McClelland, 6. Back row, from left: Jewelee Clarno, Kate McClelland, Amy Lovato, Chelsey Helmer and Shelley Garcia. 

 

The Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Schoolhouse in Poncha Springs to its membership with a remote ribbon cutting ceremony Friday. 

The day care is governed by the Chaffee County Childcare Initiative, a non-profit organization who’s purpose is developing solutions to the lack of childcare options in the community. 

“We’re so excited,” said Amy Lovato, the initiative’s executive director. “We’ve been working hard on this. Through all of the ups and downs, it feels good to finally do it.”

The schoolhouse opened its doors to kids Tuesday and currently serves 2-5 year olds. Lovato said they hope to add care for infants in the future. 

The schoolhouse, which does have some spots available, is currently licensed as a small center with a capacity of 15. Lovato said they hope to work up their credentials, noting that the building’s capacity is 32 kids. 

“It’s probably the most unique day care experience you can ever have here,” Lovato said. “It was totally renovated so it’s up to code, but still has that historic feel. And the team is super promising. It’s a great group of people already known for providing great care.”

The schoolhouse is currently open from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 

The Buell Foundation provided $100,000 that enabled the building’s renovation while Chaffee County Women Who Care donated an additional $10,000. Lovato also thanked the Chaffee County Early Childcare Coucil, Alpine Achievers Initiative, the Town of Poncha Springs as well as the architect and contractor for their support.  

The schoolhouse has two separate classrooms for students and its own fenced off playground in the back. It also has the option to walk across the parking lot and use Chipeta Park. 

The Schoolhouse is located at 330 Burnett Ave. in Poncha Springs, right next to the town hall. 

People interested in childcare can fill out an application at chaffeechildcare.com/the-schoolhouse where there is also more information.

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