Barnstable School Committee Says No to Renewing Waldorf School Lease

BARNSTABLE – The Barnstable School Committee has decided to not renew the lease for the Waldorf School in Cotuit.

The five-year lease expires at the end of June. The decision by the school committee was based on the Waldorf School falling behind on rent payments for the last two years.

The school was reportedly behind in rent payments by $75,000 at one point. That figure has been reduced to $20,000.

Waldorf School officials are looking to keep the school at its current Cotuit location.

School officials believe wording in the agreement allows them to remain at the facility for about 540 days after the lease ends.

“If we do need to leave by the end of June that is a really quick time for us to find another place,” said Roxanne King, the school’s director of admissions. “We don’t really have that many ideas for many places to go so we are hoping for that time.”

King said the school has new leadership which is more financially responsible.

“We have a strategic plan and a lot of long-term plans to correct any issues that were in the past,” King said.

King said the school is asking for help from the community, including sending letters to and making phone calls to town officials.

“We also have a gala coming up on February 15 which is a fundraiser for the school,” she said. “So that would also be a way for people to help support us financially so that if we do have to move we would be able to do that.”

According to the school’s website, the institution is part of the Waldorf Schools of North America and operates with a governance structure of shared leadership, which includes a board of trustees and a college of teachers. It is supported by an administrative team and a Waldorf Community Association.

Officials hope they will be able to present a strong case to Town Manager Mark Ells to be able to remain at the Cotuit location.

Barnstable Town Councilor Jessica Rapp-Grassetti said it is too bad that the school’s enrollment has fallen from around 120 down to about 60.

“It’s also too bad that they had problems meeting their obligation of the lease,” she said.

She is also concerned about the displacement of the students.

“I just that going forward, if the building is to be vacated by June 30th of this year that it does not stay vacant and that it gets populated with other students,” Rapp-Grassetti said.

She also believes it is worth exploring having the Waldorf School coexist at the facility with another entity.

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