HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) --A South Valley private school has shut its doors after a drop in enrollment and financial struggles.
Now the staff at Western Christian School must begin the process of selling all materials owned by the school
Back in February the school board of the school made the decision to close after enrollment decreased and employment costs went up and this week the school is having a sale to pay off its remaining debt.
For 35 years, Western Christian School in Hanford educated students from preschool to 8th grade but the learning stopped back in late May.
Karen Beasley is the manager of the school and she says this past school year the student enrollment was 46.
"At one point it was as high as 190," she said. "That was probably in the late 80s and in the early 90s and then just over time enrollment started going down due to the economics."
Beasley says the school charged $4,500 for tuition a year and it costs $250,000 to pay the school's expenses for a year.
The increase of minimum wage and higher health care cost were major factors in the decision to close.
"All those were going up cost wise and stuff and you have to have enough students to able to pay all those bills," Beasley said.
Now the staff of the school faces the tough task this week of selling everything to the public.
Library books, desk, decorations, smart boards and playground equipment are all for sale.
This process is especially difficult for Mary Fall. Not only did she work at the school for 25 years, but all three of her children attended school there.
"I think through the years my children growing up here with small classes, loving teachers and just being able to talk about the Lord and Christ," she said. "And their Christian education."
Beasley says seeing the items packed up and sold is heartbreaking but knows it will be used to help educate more children.
"And I'm a very positive person so I just know that God closes one door and opens another," she said.