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Walnut Hills Academy, once told to vacate its building to make room for police, is staying put

Posted at 11:17 PM, Mar 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 00:56:18-04

COLD SPRING, Ky. — Walnut Hills Academy’s rent will nearly double in the upcoming year, but the daycare and learning center won’t be forced to forfeit its spot on East Alexandria Pike.

A unanimous City Council vote Monday night raised the academy’s rent to pay for the construction of the new police station that originally threatened to displace it.

Owner Beth Sparks, who learned in January 2018 and announced in mid-March 2019 that the council did not plan to renew the academy’s lease, said she was relieved and gratified by the reversal. She had kept the news under wraps for over a year out of hope that the situation could change before she had to tell parents.

“It’s been quite overwhelming,” she said. “We’re so grateful and thankful that things finally turned out, that we can continue serving our community.”

About 110 children from 80 families attend daycare, preschool, pre-kindergarten or after-school programs at Walnut Hills Academy.

Many of their parents were in the audience Monday night as City Council made its decision.

“I was very excited to hear a unanimous ‘yes’ tonight,” mother Amy Danzo, whose 3-year-old daughter is enrolled at Walnut Hills, said. “We all have been praying and acting for the past week that our childcare center would be able to stay and that the owners and the city could come to an agreement.”

Councilwoman Lisa Cavanaugh complimented the community on its enthusiastic effort to change the future.

"I think that the amount of people here that have shown up tonight is a testament to you guys,” she said.