The Goddard School, a chain that specializes in early-childhood development, is expanding its presence in Clark County with construction of a $3 million school set to break ground Tuesday in the Salmon Creek area.
That’s near the workplaces of hundreds of dual-income families, said Michelle Solari, owner of the new Goddard School franchise.
The school site at Northeast 134th Street and 27th Avenue is within a half mile of two major employers, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and Washington State University Vancouver.
The county’s first Goddard School opened in 2005 at 3111 S.E. 192nd Ave., off Southeast 31st Street, another hot spot near higher-wage-paying employers such as Hewlett Packard, WaferTech and Sharp Microelectronics.
That Goddard School is owned by Janice Wright and was Solari’s introduction to the school system, she said. Solari said her three children attended the east Vancouver site, which helped her recognize the need for a similar program in the Salmon Creek area.
“I looked at a lot of different locations, and Salmon Creek seemed to be the best fit,” she said.
Dual-income families make up the bulk of clients at the Goddard School, which offers a learning-through-play curriculum and child care to children 6 weeks to 6 years old.
Solari said the Salmon Creek Goddard School is scheduled to open in mid-2012 and will operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will accommodate as many as 130 students and employ between 25 and 30 people, including an education director and teachers with backgrounds in early-childhood education. Solari said tuition rates have not yet been finalized for the school, which will include nine classrooms, an infant room and an outdoor play area.
According to the parenting website http://thebump.com, Goddard School tuition can range from $900 per month for a toddler to $1,200 per month for an infant, although averages vary greatly by location.
Solari said each Goddard School location must operate within guidelines set by Goddard Systems Inc., the franchise parent based in King of Prussia, Pa.
The company has more than 370 franchises in 34 states, with a total enrollment of 45,000 students.
The 8,000-square-foot school in Salmon Creek is being developed by LJS Investors LLC, a Vancouver company owned by the Oliva family, which owns the Hi School Pharmacy chain.
“They (Goddard School) are a successful brand nationwide, so this seemed like a good opportunity,” said Josh Oliva, company spokesman and project manager.
Crews from Robertson & Olson Construction will oversee work on the school as the project’s general contractor.