Community Donates Money for Barrett Early Learning Center Repairs

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Barrett Early Learning Center in Charlottesville is looking at a bright future, thanks in part to a nonprofit that helped the school out in its time of need.

Members of the Building Goodness Foundation say they were contacted by the school last year, and learned it was in desperate need of repairs. BGF decided to help raise the money by getting the word out to other businesses and nonprofits in the city. They raised around $45,000 in total for the repairs.

The Barrett Early Learning Center is one of the oldest in the state. It opened in 1935, and many parts of the building were worn out. Members of BGF say, without people in the community volunteering their time and funds, the school would have gone out of business.

The first order of business for volunteers was to replace the wooden fire escape with a new metal one.

"One of the 6-by-6 pillars that was holding up the fire escape was in such poor condition it was rotted out from the inside. It was literally standing on a spindle probably about as big around as my pinky, and this was the fire escape the children would have been evacuated from the building,” said Allison Scholl of the Building Goodness Foundation.

Work on the new fire escape will be finished by next week.

Members of BGF say they will now be working actively with the school’s board members to plan future renovations so the school can continue to provide a valuable service to the community, like it has for the past 79 years.