KLA School operator to open second Naperville location
The success of an existing early childhood center in Naperville has prompted its owners to move forward with plans to build a second KLA School in town.
The 12,824-square-foot preschool and day care is slated for a vacant 1.2-acre parcel within the Bradford Commons shopping center at 75th Street and Route 59, according to a development proposal approved by the city council earlier this month. It will be the third KLA School operated by franchisees Selvei and Kumar Rajkumar, longtime Naperville residents who opened a location in Plainfield in 2013 and another on Tuthill Road in Naperville nearly two years ago.
The two area schools are "doing so well that we are back again ... to bring another KLA School to the city of Naperville," said Patti Bernhard, an attorney representing the petitioners. "We're really excited about that."
Following the Reggio Emilia approach to early education, KLA Schools aim to provide inviting, project-based learning environments that emphasize the natural abilities and aptitude of children, allowing them to develop new and inherent talents and "build a robust foundation for their future school years," according to the proposal.
The new Naperville facility, planned for 2719 Beebe Drive, is designed to employ 25 teachers and staff members to educate and care for about 180 infants to school-age children. A 9,000-square-foot fenced-in playground and garden is planned along the west and south sides of the building, with different sections to accommodate varying age groups, Bernhard said.
The city council's approval of the development plans includes a conditional use to permit a day care within a community shopping center zoning district. Naperville staff members said they believe the KLA School is compatible with other nearby uses, including a Costco warehouse, XSport Fitness and a Walmart Supercenter.
Officials also supported code deviations to reduce the setback for signage, officials said, and to eliminate the space required for vehicular pickup and drop-off since KLA Schools require parents or guardians to escort students into and out of the facility.
The parking requirement was also reduced from 51 spots to 40, which is projected to be acceptable based on peak demand at the other locations, Bernhard said.
The adjacent XSport has agreed to share 50 spaces for overflow parking if needed, she said.
Tucked toward the back of the shopping center with limited visibility, the property is best suited for a destination business rather than a retailer, Bernhard said. The day care and preschool would put "underperforming land" back on the tax rolls, while also supporting the nearby commercial businesses, the proposal said.