Early childhood center planned for Ewan school

A company that operates several early-childhood education centers in the Lexington area wants to buy the old Julia R. Ewan Elementary School to house a center that initially would serve about 180 youngsters up to kindergarten age.

Creation Kingdom Fairway LLC, which has a contract pending to buy the J.R. Ewan property from Lexington businessman Bill Meade, has filed an appeal with the Lexington Board of Adjustment for a conditional use permit to operate a school at 350 Henry Clay Boulevard. A hearing is scheduled April 30.

The sale of the school is contingent on approval of the conditional use permit, according to Realtor Ken Silvestri, who is handling the sale for Meade. The property had been listed for sale at $1.8 million.

Creation Kingdom owner Dawn Tetzlaff said Monday that her company had received several requests from parents wanting an early-childhood center to serve families close to downtown. Company officials "fell in love" with the Ewan property after touring it, she said.

Neighborhood leaders have been eager to see the building preserved.

"We've received a very favorable response from the neighborhood around the school," Tetzlaff said.

According to Tetzlaff, the plan is to open the new school about the time public schools open in August. Some renovation work, including landscaping and painting, would be necessary first. Only the first floor of the Ewan school would be used initially, she said. Plans for the second floor would come later. One possibility might be a Montessori school, she said.

Ultimately, the school could serve 300 to 350 children, according to Tetzlaff.

Creation Kingdom, whose owners describe it as a Christian-based operation, now runs four early-childhood centers in Lexington and Georgetown, and has a fifth under construction in Hamburg. J.R. Ewan would be its sixth and largest center, Tetz laff said.

Meade bought the Ewan school for $1,225,000 at public auction in 2008 after Fayette County Public Schools declared it surplus property. Meade, who once attended the school, said at the time that his main aim was to see the building preserved.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader