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Child-care center to occupy Bedford school facility in June

TEMPERANCE -- The school district-owned building that houses the Bedford Education Child Care Center will have a new occupant in June but not a new use.

The Bedford Schools Board of Education last week approved leasing the district-owned building to Cynthia Maher, who owns the Bedford Child Development Center, a child-care facility that operates in the Church of the Nazarene on Douglas Road.

The five-year lease calls for Mrs. Maher to pay $2,000 monthly for the building, which is next to the school district administration building on West Sterns Road. The contract with the school district provides for Mrs. Maher to buy the property for $250,000 at the end of the lease.

Mrs. Maher of Toledo said she is moving her business because she has outgrown space at the church. She said she is licensed to care for up to 45 children ages 6 weeks old to 12 weeks old.

"We started looking at the facility because we wanted to serve the community as best as we possibly could," she said.

Bedford Child Development Center employs about 12 people, its Web site says. The agreement says Mrs. Maher will have the chance to buy the building at the end of the five years.

The district will pay for any maintenance issues involving the building that cost more than $300 and Mrs. Maher will be responsible for expenses below that amount. The school district will cover snow removal.

The board agreed on March 3 to close the center at the end of the school year in June and put the property up for sale. The school district had been losing money on the care center for several years.

Josh Dyer, chief financial officer, said the center has lost $60,000 over the last four years. Projections indicate it stands to lose $15,000 this year, despite efforts to cut costs in the program and the hourly pay received by its employees.

The licensed child-care center, which opened 35 years ago, is available for children age 18 months to 4 years, employing one person who cares for as many as 29 children. The center also houses a latch-key kindergarten program.

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