Future Flower Mound daycare progressing slowly

Children’s Learning Adventure was approved in April 2015 at FM 1171 and Churchill Drive, but it construction is taking unusually long, according to Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos.

A future daycare in Flower Mound is still underway, though it’s coming together slowly.

A Specific Use Permit for a Children’s Learning Adventure Childcare Centers, which has daycares across the country, was approved for a new location at FM 1171 and Churchill Drive by Flower Mound’s Town Council in December 2014, and the site plan was approved by the Planning & Zoning Commission in April 2015.

Since then, though, it has taken an unusually long time for the project to be at its current state. The property has been cleared, part of the foundation has been poured and the storm sewer, underground electric service and plumbing have been installed, said Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos said.

Children’s Learning Adventure put in a deceleration lane on Churchill Drive, but “didn’t do the proper documentation for the concrete,” Stathatos said.

“We were not able to inspect it, and evidently it failed, so they’re going to have to redo it,” Stathatos said.

Early on in the process, Stathatos said Children’s Learning Adventure had some funding issues, and there have been “a lot of stops and starts” in the process.

If a construction project remains dormant for a certain amount of time, the town permits expire. Stathatos said CLA has essentially been doing just enough work to keep the permits from expiring.

“I don’t know if that’s on purpose or not, but that’s exactly how it looks,” he said. “It’s frustrating because we’re obviously anxious for them to get finished. It’s in a very visible location.”

It’s rare to see these kind of delays, Stathatos said, and CLA hasn’t provided an explanation to the town.

“Especially with construction loans, there are timeframes in which banks want contractors to perform within, and when businesses are paying the interest on those loans, they’re motivated to get finished,” he said. “They haven’t shared their reasons with us, but there must be some internal reasons that are contributing to the delay. I’m not aware, in my career, of a project that mirrors this, in terms of delays and lack of progress.”

Stathatos said some residents have thought that the town has some sort of leverage to shut down a project or revoke a permit, “and legally, we don’t, so our hands are tied.”

Despite several attempts to contact a representative at Children’s Learning Adventures, no one could be reached for comment. Stathatos said he has asked CLA for estimated timelines or completion dates, but hasn’t received any.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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