Local church defends decision to terminate preschool's lease

ELKHART, Ind. -- An update on a story ABC 57 has been following. Parents are upset that their kids may have to find a new preschool. It all happened after the Little Cherubs Preschool was told it would have to find a new building to lease because the church can no longer house it.

Now, Granger Community Church is speaking out about its difficult decision to send the preschool packing.

The pastor of Granger Community Church of Elkhart says it was decision that took months to make, but that it finally just came down to not having enough space for both the church and preschool.

It all started when the church changed hands in August, when St. John's United Church of Christ gave its property over to Granger Community Church.


Since then Granger Community Church has been working around the clock to renovate the space for its needs.


There was just one problem, though. The previous church had rented out much of the space to Little Cherubs Preschool.


Neither church felt it was fair to displace the preschool just because the building was changing ownership, so the two made a deal.


"We promised St. John's that we would, for at least the next school, allow Little Cherubs to rent, from us, that space," says Granger Community Church of Elkhart pastor Mark Waltz.


As the months passed, Granger Community Church began to realize there just was not enough room to allow the preschool to stay permanently.


The pastor says they considered sharing the space, but couldn't find a way to make it work.


"It would require massive man power. We would literally have to empty the room of materials and furniture every week to accommodate how we need to use the space," says Waltz.


Both the Staff and parents say they thought the Preschool was there to stay, which is why members of the preschool were so surprised and upset to hear they would have to move.



"It is natural and I would not expect anything else than for parents to ask questions, be concerned and express hurt [...] and we want Little Cherubs to have a home that best suits their needs and we think our use of the space doesn't serve them or vise versa," says Waltz.


As it stands, Little Cherubs now has until May to find a new building, but if the staff cannot find a church and space to house the preschool then the program may have to close its doors for good.



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