Lassen Community College President Trevor Albertson announced the college’s Child Development Center would remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know there has been a bit of discussion about the future of the Child Development Center at Lassen Community College,” Albertson said. “Let me set the record straight on where we are at and why we have made the decisions we have.”
According to a statement from Albertson, “COVID created a danger for students attending the CDC. Given the college’s limited resources for responding to an outbreak or individual infections, I, and the rest of the student services leadership team, felt it irresponsible to continue to bring students into the CDC without being afforded the proper resources for responding to these kinds of medical crises by the state and federal government.
“State mandates changed and impacted finances. Given the restrictions placed on the operation of the CDC, because of COVID, in the coming year we could only place a maximum of 10 children in each class. This further reduced the economic viability of the center.
“The center represented a massive liability for the college. The care of children is a sacred responsibility where even the slightest mistake can lead to the injury of a child and legal implications. This is a risk the college simply can no longer accept. This is particularly true given the current health threats and limited budgets put forth by the state.
“The CDC suffered from woefully low student usage. Many of the folks that utilized the CDC were not students, but individuals not attending Lassen College. In fact, if the CDC relied solely on the enrollment of children of Lassen College students, the center would have been subsidizing a service that was not truly advancing the broader interests of the student body. We deeply value our friends in the community and Lassen College must prioritize student needs first — the state simply does not fund us well enough to do otherwise.
“Lassen College is committed to the education of its students, the betterment of the communities it serves, and to serving as an economic engine for the region. In order to do this most effectively we must act in a responsible manner that prioritizes the health and welfare of those attending the college or visiting campus, in accordance with state regulation, in a way that protects Lassen College’s limited resources, and expends those resources in a manner that best serves the broader needs of our student body. Doing this sometimes means tough choices, and this is one of those times. The good news, however, is that we are seeking a tenant for the facility. In so doing, we hope to generate revenue to maintain the facility–should we be able to reopen at some point.
“To be bluntly honest, I — and the rest of the leadership team — wish it were different. It pains us as much as anyone else to see the CDC shuttered. It is not a decision that was made lightly. What should also be known is that the administration is working diligently to find on-campus employment for those displaced by this decision.
“Though this is not a happy decision, it is one that had to be made. Going forward, Lassen College remains committed to serving its students, its community and region, and the lives of all those it positively impacts on a daily basis — now and in the future.”