Mayor: Offer accepted on building with plans for daycare

Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows said last week that an offer has been accepted on the Kishwaukee Family YMCA Child Care Center building at 1010 N. 15th St. that closed in 2020 and the buyer has plans to make it a daycare once again.

City has been without a daycare center for two years

ROCHELLE — Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows said last week that an offer has been accepted on the Kishwaukee Family YMCA Child Care Center building at 1010 N. 15th St. that closed in 2020 and the buyer has plans to make it a daycare once again.

Bearrows said he heard that information from the realtor selling the property. He said he did not know the identity of the buyer. The transaction is now in the real estate process and the anticipated closing is somewhere around June 1. Bearrows said after that point, more information will come to light.

The buyer that is in the process of purchasing the daycare building is not affiliated with the daycare board that was recently established to work to bring a child care center back to town. Bearrows, who is chairman of that board, said a group did make an offer on behalf of the daycare board, but that offer was not accepted.

“There was another offer that went in that was accepted, which I'm OK with,” Bearrows said. “As long as we get that daycare open. It's finally going to come to fruition. It's been a long time coming."

Rochelle has been without a daycare center since the facility closed. The City of Rochelle took on preliminary work last year to bring a daycare back to town. It put out a survey to residents that came back with overwhelming results in favor of a daycare with 72 percent of respondents saying they’re in need of a daycare and 71 percent saying their children would be likely to attend a daycare if it opened in town.

The building at 1010 N. 15th St. was listed for sale earlier this year by Hayden Real Estate, Inc. for $399,900. It’s 12,000 square feet, sits on 2.73 acres and includes eight classrooms, a sprinkler system, a commercial kitchen and outdoor space. The facility was built in 1993. 

"I talked to the realtor this morning and asked how much I can reveal,” Bearrows said May 6. “People want to know. I wanted to know. And when they said it was definitely going to be a daycare, I was like, 'OK, perfect.' At the end of the day, it's going to be a daycare.”

Bearrows said the daycare board may be kept together indefinitely in case it can help the buyers with fundraising or anything they may need.

“I hope and pray the sustainability is there, so that in 18 months or 24 months we're not back looking at the same thing,” Bearrows said. “And I think it will be sustainable. I got the feeling this morning that it's going to be very strong. The buyers have daycare experience. Hopefully it's going to be good."

The mayor was excited by the news of a daycare coming back to town after the effort became a priority of his since Kishwaukee Family YMCA Child Care Center closed.

"It really feels good,” Bearrows said. “I can see the finish line. Not for the sake of me or the city, but for the sake of our community. Some folks have really struggled without having daycare. It's one of the best things that's happened in a long time. We're very appreciative of that."

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