Calling it a move that will increase funding opportunities and provide efficiency, board members for two Lawrence nonprofit early education organizations announced a merger this morning.
The Brookcreek Learning Center will consolidate with Ballard Community Services on Sept. 1, according to a statement released this morning.
Board members said the consolidation will allow the combined agency to serve 121 children and their families, as no major changes in services are expected.
Brookcreek operates sites at 200 Mount Hope Court and another at Lawrence High School. It provides an early education program for children to develop skills for learning and social interactions. The center has operated since 1981.
Both boards have scheduled a news conference to discuss the consolidation at 2 p.m. Friday at 200 Mount Hope Court.
Ballard Community Services was formerly the Ballard Community Center at the former Lincoln School in North Lawrence. Ballard provides an early education program and other programs, such as food, rent and utility assistance. It also operates the Penn House, 1035 Pa., and the Emergency Services Council.
Gail Vick, chairwoman of the Ballard Community Services Board of Directors, said the consolidation would combine the strengths of both organizations "in an effort to enhance the services provided to our constituents, provide greater accountability to the supporters of both organizations and to provide additional services to children and families in our community."
Several members of Brookcreek's board will become members of Ballard's board when the two operations combine under Ballard Community Services as a nonprofit corporation.
"The community will profit from a more efficient operation and the law of large numbers," said Dennis Garrison, chairman of the Brookcreek board. "We will have more grants available to us which will allow us to provide a more comprehensive educational experience for our children."
Both organizations are supported by the United Way of Douglas County, and Ballard Community Services receives funding from the Douglas County Community Foundation. According to the news release, both support the merger.