Church approves lease with Black Mountain day care

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News
Members of First Baptist Church, on Oct. 20, voted unanimously to approve a lease with Black Mountain day care, Children and Friends Enrichment Center. The day care plans to build a facility on church property bordering Midland Avenue.

A lease agreement with a local church that will allow a Black Mountain day care to build a new facility on its property passed Oct. 20.

Members of First Baptist Church of Black Mountain voted unanimously to approve the lease with Children and Friends Enrichment Center, which reconsidered its plans to build the facility on land inside Veterans Park.

The nonprofit day care, which has been operating in Black Mountain since 1979, approached the church in September about the possibility of constructing the building on a vacant grass lot on Midland Avenue. The land is part of the 4.5 acres owned by the church.

That move came two weeks after Black Mountain aldermen voted unanimously to approve the terms of a lease between the town and day care. Representatives from the day care found the costs associated with developing the site in Veterans Park prohibitive.

Children and Friends serves 70 families in its current location on U.S. 70. The lease for the current facility is set to expire Dec. 31. The proposed building will allow the day care to expand to up to 170 children.

Linda Hobson, chair of the Swannanoa Valley Child Care Council Inc., the governing board of the day care, presented the proposal to church members during an Oct. 6 congregational meeting. Approval of the agreement required a vote by church members, which was initially set for Oct. 13 before it was postponed to Oct. 20.

As many as 60 members of the church voted in favor of the agreement, according to Senior Pastor Jeremy Shoulta. The vote will allow the church and day care to proceed with the agreement.