In 2012, Issaquah Cooperative Preschool celebrated 50 years serving the families of the Issaquah Alps, the valley, the plateau, and surrounding areas.
It has always had the tradition of caring parents working to provide their children with the best possible early education; to create a learning environment that enhances children’s physical, emotional, social and intellectual development.
When it first opened its doors in 1962, the co-op was housed in what would be called a portable today. This classroom had been built by parents who wanted a kindergarten program for their children at a time when the school district did not have kindergarten in their budget. Parents banded together, with donations from the community and support from the district, to construct the building. After its use as the kindergarten room, it served as a high school classroom and central administration office. As time passed, permission was granted to the preschool to use it.
The Issaquah Cooperative Preschool children and moms (dads’ involvement came a little later) happily settled into the classroom building until the April 29, 1965 earthquake damaged schools and the district ‘recalled’ their building. The preschool moved to a house in the location that became Gilman Village. There was plenty of dirt to play in and the only boardwalk was the one over the mud to the preschool door.
In 1970, after being repeatedly asked, the district again allowed use of the classroom. As the years passed, parents continued updating and added a playground. Then in 1986, to make room for the construction of Issaquah Community Center, the preschool moved to Community Baptist Church, then Community Church of Issaquah, then Living Hope Bible Church. In 2012 after 25 years in the same site, the preschool moved to a brand new facility in St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, the current site of Issaquah Cooperative Preschool.
Since the move, the dedicated parents and staff have been involved in enhancing the current playground to create an outdoor classroom to further enhance the “Learning Community” that is Issaquah Cooperative Preschool. In 2014, a tire swing, amadinda and a new cedar playhouse were added. In the winter of 2016, a brand-new climbing and sliding structure was purchased and installed, with the help and support of St. Michael’s.
Carrying on our strong tradition of parental involvement, Issaquah Cooperative Preschool looks forward to being part of and continuing to serve the larger Issaquah Community for many years to come.