Goddard School padlocked closed Charlotte Back Creek rent - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Rent dispute ends with locks changed at popular daycare


Parents who take their children to one north Charlotte daycare arrived on Monday morning to find the school's doors locked and their children without a place to stay.

That was the scene Monday morning at the Goddard School on Back Creek Drive in Charlotte. The property owner told WBTV the doors were locked due to non-payment of rent.

Mark Walters of MW Properties NC contacted WBTV after learning from the owner that he planned to open normally and ignore the warning that the sheriff's office had an order to evict them.

"My biggest concern is the kids. I feel uncomfortable padlocking a business where there's kids involved and have to stand there and wait for parents to come get [them]," Walters told WBTV.

"To me that's disrespectful to the parents because they're going to have to get off work, find a place for their kids for the rest of the day...the week based on what's going on... So I think the school should have notified them prior."

Walters says the school, which originally opened in February 2001, is behind more than $60,000 on rent.

"We've had payment plans worked out on 3 occasions. Payment plans have not been kept," Walters said.

Walters says the rent for the building is $13,000 a month. He says he's had to file numerous eviction notices in the past to get payment.

"We have made arraignments with them if they come up with the money in the time of a five-day period, we are agreeable to let them continue to do business. We aren't trying to put them out of business or shut it down. We just need to get the rent caught up."

A teacher, who didn't want to be identified, was at the school Sunday packing up her classroom. She was upset she wouldn't be able to say goodbye to her students.

A parent, who didn't give his name, said he was told the school was closing due to a maintenance issue. His young son went to the daycare and he wasn't sure where he'd take him now.

He says he expected better of a 5 star daycare. The parent said he paid up through March and wants a refund.

The Goddard School released this statement:

"Due to a dispute with the landlord, my School located in Charlotte, North Carolina, at 1825 Back Creek Drive, will be closed effective Monday, March 11, 2013. I have been in full cooperation with the landlord in the closing of the School. During our brand's 25-year history, School closings have been a rarity.  I am focused on maintaining my commitment to the parents of our students. I have informed the parents and faculty at our School and will work with them to make the transition as smooth as possible.

The closing does not change Goddard's commitment to the Charlotte community and students' safety, well-being and continued education. Goddard Systems, Inc., the franchiser of The Goddard School, is currently working with the Charlotte community and other Charlotte-area Goddard Schools to make the transition for the parents and children as smooth as possible.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I sincerely apologize for this late notice."

The Goddard School did not respond to questions about how many students will be affected or how parents would be notified of the closure.

Officials from the Goddard Systems, Inc. sent WBTV the following statement:

"While a rarity in the 25 year history of The Goddard School, we are saddened by the closing in Charlotte on Back Creek Road.

The Franchise Relations team at Goddard Systems, Inc., franchiser of The Goddard School, is personally working with every enrolled family to find acceptable, convenient childcare options. 

To further assist in this transition, the other independently owned and operated Charlotte-area Goddard Schools are waiving all registration fees and March tuition for families who enroll in any of these Goddard School locations.  We understand the extreme inconvenience this closing causes and want to assure parents who have paid their March tuition, and are seeking care outside of Goddard Schools in the Charlotte area, that we will work with them ^ on a case by case basis.

We also want to reassure the Charlotte area that this situation does not reflect on our commitment to the community and our students' safety, well-being and continued education. The Goddard Schools in the Charlotte area plan to remain open and serve the community for many years to come."

Staff members told WBTV they received a phone call from the owner Sunday afternoon.

According to the website, Dr. John Monbarren and his wife Anna are the on-site owners of the Charlotte Goddard School.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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    BBB information

    The Back Creek Drive location of The Goddard School has an A rating with the BBB. Since 2004, this location of The Goddard School has had three complaints filed against it (1 in 2004, 1 in 2008 and 1 inMore >>
    The Back Creek Drive location of The Goddard School has an A rating with the BBB. Since 2004, this location of The Goddard School has had three complaints filed against it (1 in 2004, 1 in 2008 and 1 inMore >>
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