PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) --  It's a day many have dreaded. A Phoenix preschool closed its doors after what has been a financial saga

In February, we told you the story behind TUMPS, Trinity United Methodist Preschool. It is owned by the church next door, but they can't afford to keep it open. The community rallied behind the school, and a benefactor stepped up, but it still might not be enough.

[WATCH: Despite anonymous donor, Phoenix preschool is closing]

"This was totally out of the blue. Totally," said Director Susan Wells.

Before their planned summer school, they received letters from the church on Tuesday morning.

"The word used was because we are not self-sustaining," Wells said.

Wells thought they were in the clear because of a man named Alfred Pettersen.

"I was watching the news. I saw this kindergarten nursery was closing," Pettersen said.

[RELATED: Anonymous donor steps up to save Phoenix preschool]

He said he used to run a large daycare in Canada.

"When their frame of reference and the school was a major production for them just gets shut down, this is very bad for them," Pettersen said.

He donated $85,000 to keep TUMPS going. He thought it would sustain them through the summer. The church tells us most of it's been spent, and that they're keeping the rest to cover costs.

[RELATED: Parents try to save Phoenix preschool after church can no longer support it]

"We will be using that money to make payroll and as well as any debt the preschool has, we will need to pay off," said Pastor Stephen Govett. He said the school missed their May 24th deadline to come up with a plan to support themselves. So, they made the call to close it.

"It wasn't a flippant or easy decision we made," Govett said. "It was a lot of prayer and a lot of looking at budgets."

Wells said she and Pettersen are looking to the future and how the school can live on in a new building.

"This place has been here for 55 years. It has a history here," Wells said. "Is there sorrow? Good lord, yes."

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


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