CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Parents with children at a day-care center on the East End are pushing for answers about money and other questions before it's too late to keep the center open.
"I'm really optimistic that they're going to work something out, but to save the day care, there has to be an affirmative statement made by either the Governor's Office or Kanawha County Schools that says, 'Don't pull your children out, don't find new jobs. We're working on it,' " said Shelly Gardner-Lutz, a parent of two children who attend the state Public Employees Daycare near the state Capitol.
"If they don't do that by the end of the week, I don't see it surviving until June like they say."
A group of parents have filed a Freedom of Information Act to obtain any emails exchanged between officials about the closures and for information concerning the budget, Gardner-Lutz said.
Parents have also had several meetings with legislators and plan to meet again with the Governor's Office and school officials Thursday.
While officials have not yet responded to the FOIA request, financial information parents have received from school officials "just doesn't add up," Gardner-Lutz said, pointing to a confusing document Kanawha County School officials gave parents that tallies things like workers' pay and utilities.
"That didn't really answer any of our questions," Gardner-Lutz said.
Also Wednesday, a state officials said a proposed a new day-care facility at the state Capitol Complex was canceled in May 2011 over concerns about money for the project.
"It was decided the state would not move forward on spending revenue in designing a building when funds may not be available to construct it. Therefore, the solicitation was canceled," said Diane Holley-Brown, spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration. She said there were several construction and renovation projects being pursued at the time.
Earlier this month, officials announced plans to close the Public Employees Daycare and two others, the Shawnee Daycare and the Elk Center Daycare, owned by the Kanawha County Schools Community Education Program. The centers do not receive funding from the public school system, and Kanawha Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring emphasized at a school board meeting last week that the school system does not own those buildings and only helps facilitate the programs.
At that meeting, Duerring said the potential closing date, originally given as March 28, had been pushed to late June. He said negotiations were in the works, but was not specific about potential solutions -- although he did say though that tuition hikes would likely have to happen in order for the centers to survive.