Waynesboro, GA – It might sound like good news to hear about a Boys & Girls Club possibly opening in Burke County. But a licensed daycare owner believes this news is bad for her business.
Jennifer Rackins, the CEO of A Child’s World Academy located on West 9th Street in Waynesboro, expanded her business inside of an historic building that was dilapidated. She said after pumping a lot on money into it, she could lose it.
Kids playing billiards, air hockey and other games inside of the daycare feel like they win every day.
But for the 100 plus kids who attend, the current situation they’re in could mean they will lose.
“It was more hurtful than anything just to know that I was working with deceitful people,” Rackins said explaining her dilemma.
The CEO sat down with News Channel 6 and explained how her daycare offers several programs for children and their families from sun-up to sun down. She told us she was shocked to learn that the City of Waynesboro wants the Boys & Girls Club to move into the building on West 9th Street she now leases.
“You mean to tell me that we were the ones that put in all the time and the effort and the money and the long hours and the sweat,” she described.
We spoke with City Manager Jerry Coalson and he said nobody is advocating putting the Boys & Girls Club in the historic building. Instead, he claims the city is negotiating with Rackins for another one year lease. Rackins signed this lease, which expires at the end of next month and already had an option to renew built in it, with an option to renew for another year.
“You pass this building it was just a sore eye to the community. My husband put of fencing. We painted the building. We just made it look really good for the community,” she said.
Inside, Rackins said she did more work, spending more than $100,000, a cost that can’t be quantified next to kids having fun.
Ronald Gray and Jalen Cobb said they love daycare.
“This is like a family to me,” said Gray.
“We get off the bus and it’s like a football game in here,” Cobb said with excitement.
And some parents like it too. All would hate to see it go away.
Saberina Brayboy has two children who attend A Child’s World Academy.
“We were all able to chip in and go the extra mile and I know that she’s worked very hard,” she said.
Juanita Williams has seen Rackins operate her business for years from the other location around the corner. She said she appreciates how Rackins employs 35 people in town as well as do good work at the facility.
“To think that they would uproot her after all this work is just hard to believe for a program that is not yet developed,” she said.
Rackins said she’s not against a Boys & Girls Club in town, just not inside the building she just renovated.
Coalson added that he advised city council members to just renew the lease for the building yearly because they don’t want to be locked into a situation.