Chapter 5 looks at a Head Start program in Hastings, Nebraska. The initial catalyst was unusual — the original location (an old hardware store) was wiped out by a tornado and the local community was growing rapidly through immigration, outstripping the original need. The program needed a new location, and an empty Kmart building was available.
Part of what I found interesting in this chapter were the complicated real estate deals in place…a commercial company owned the building, Kmart owned the lease, and a local man owned the land. So, Kmart would rent the space and pay the company, who would then pay the local man. A tri-partite “ownership” of sorts for the property, making it more complicated if someone wanted to buy. Who is selling to them? All three or just one or two? In the end, it was all three. A local company bought all three components (essentially land, building and tenancy), and then “flipped” it to someone else. In this case, the Head Start program.
The other part that I found interesting was the importance of the location. Just as Kmart wanted a busy intersection, easily accessible, so too does a program that serves the city and county. Like the previous chapter, they want a good location to serve lots of people for ease of access.
And finally, they can rent out extra space to groups that are efficient or effective, or just plain synergistic, for their own mandate — other educational services — while still giving them lots of flexibility in design.