K-Prep

Ann Kritzer (left) and Claire Crescenzi, co-owners and co-founders of K-Prep Learning Center in West Hempfield Township.

K-Prep Learning Center and the young children it serves have something in common.

They’re both growing.

The West Hempfield Township provider of preschool and childcare services has bought and is renovating its 3943 Columbia Ave. facility in a project costing $600,000 to $650,000.

Making the project possible was a $247,500 loan from the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, secured with the help of the Lancaster-based nonprofit EDC Finance. Orrstown Bank also provided a loan for the project.

EDC Finance announced the project this week.

With the financing, K-Prep’s Claire Crescenzi and Ann Kritzer bought its 4,200-square-foot building and began renovations last weekend.

The renovations will give pre-school children (age 3) and pre-kindergarten children (age 4) separate classrooms, instead of sharing one classroom.

When renovations are completed in mid August, K-Prep’s enrollment will be able to increase from 45 to 60. Staff will expand from seven full time to eight, and from five part time to six or seven.

K-Prep also will open a half hour earlier, at 6:30 a.m.

Crescenzi and Kritzer, both Millersville University graduates and certified teachers, worked together in the childcare field before co-founding K-Prep in 2003.

K-Prep opened in Crescenzi’s house at the time in Manor Township with four children. It moved to Columbia Avenue, opposite St. Anne’s Retirement Community, three years later with a dozen children. Enrollment has continued to grow steadily since, said Crescenzi.