Camas Montessori moves into new location

Open house will be held on Dec. 3

Camas Montessori School open house

Camas Montessori will hold an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at its new location, 2227 N.E. Everett St.

For more information, call 834-7434.

It’s been a long, bumpy journey, but Camas Montessori School finally has a new home.

More than two-and-a-half years after it was set to break ground on its new location at Northeast Everett Street and 23rd Avenue, the school has finally moved in.

There will be a celebration open house on Saturday, Dec. 3 to commemorate the occasion.

“We are excited to finally be in our new home,” said Donna Hargrave, school administrator. “It feels surreal, as it is something we have wanted for a long time. Now, it’s finally happening. It won’t be perfect, but we will work it all out.”

During the construction process, a new contractor was hired and the school was required to apply for a new construction loan, which delayed the project substantially. Then, occupancy permits were required. Finally, the school was given a thumbs up to move on Friday, Nov. 11.

The 4,000 square foot building has capacity for 77 students. There are 60 currently, and openings are available in half-day preschool only.

“I have been getting calls three to four times a week asking if we have openings,” Hargrave said. “They’re going fast.”

She noted that although the children and teachers are settling into their new location, the work is not yet done.

“We aren’t finished by a long shot, and are applying for grants to help us prepare a space for toddlers, which will address the growing need for that age childcare in Clark County,” she said.

Upgrades to the school offices, which are located at a house on site, multipurpose room and playground space, are all needed.

“For a long time, parents have been asking when we were going to move, and I kept on saying, ‘soon,’ and now it has finally happened,” Hargrave said. “We had several parents who came in over the weekend to help us move. They have been great and keep helping.”

A Buy a Brick fundraiser had friends and families purchasing engraved bricks to create a walking labyrinth in the playground.

“We have had a wonderful response from our current and alumni families,” Hargrave said. “In fact, many of our families have donated materials and labor for our playground, and to help us move. We are so thankful to them.”

Hargrave founded Camas Montessori in 1988 and rented space from Camas Friends Church on Northeast Third Avenue since 2004.

The school serves children ages 2 1/2 to 6 in multi-age classrooms. The philosophy behind it is that learning must focus on the child’s needs, so educational experiences must vary in the kind and degree to challenge each student’s potential.