NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– A petition to save the preschool lab in the Hoyt Science Resoucre Center has received acknowledgemnt from the College administration, but Westminster College will carry out its plan to shut down the program..
Local parents and concerned neighbors protested the decision with a petition of 15-hundred signatures.
In January campus officials announced the closing of the program.
The preschool has served three and four-year old children for more than two decades.
Organizers behind the petition, like local parent and Westminster alum Nicole Cox, have strong ties with the preschool. Cox has twin daughters enrolled. She delivered the petition to President Richardson’s office in mid-February ahead of the Board of Trustees meeting. The petition asks Westminster keep the preschool open.
“Please consider all of your options before just closing,” the petition stated. If you close this preschool, you’re teaching the students at Westminster this: “If you fail, just give up”. This goes against what Westminster stands for.”
President Kathy Richardson says the college faces a budget shortfall and Westminster can’t afford to keep it.
“Unfortunately in this case we had to think about the financial outcomes than some of the other factors. And again, very sorry about that. But it’s a reality today for small college. We’re in challenging economic times.”
The closing will eliminate at least two jobs. Two teachers and an assistant oversee 3 and 4-year olds enrolled in the program that’s been around for more than two decades.
The College will close the preschool lab at the end of the school year.