COLORADO SPRINGS — A daycare facility--once owned by a woman accused of keeping children in deplorable conditions in a separate facility--is getting a new lease on life.
The building on Willamette Ave. is the former home of Counterpoint School, owned by Carla Faith. If that name rings a bell, that’s because Faith is the woman accused of hiding over 20 children behind a false wall in a basement of another daycare center she owned nearby. Court documents revealed the children were left in deplorable conditions, often going without water or food.
But since December, the building at 610 E Willamette Ave. has been home to Colorado Children’s Academy, and the new owners want to make it crystal clear: they have nothing do with Faith or any of the facility’s former owners.
“There’s a lot of things that go into it...as far as the curriculum, the safety of the children, the amount of children that you have to take care of… it’s a really big task,” said Colorado Springs Children’s Academy owner Rich Silvas.
Taking care of children is a task Silvas always knew he wanted to take on.
“I’ve been in the business for over 20 years,” Silvas said.
Spending most of those two decades in Denver, Silvas branched out to the Springs--starting up his very own childcare center in 2018.
“The downtown area is considered a desert area, which means there’s not many centers,” he said.
Before long, it was time to grow some more.
“There was just a huge demand,” he said.
So in late 2019 he bought the former Counterpoint School building.
“This particular building had the playground and everything that was needed to open up as a childcare center,” Silvas said.
But the road ahead wouldn’t be easy.
“I knew it was going to be a difficult task,” he said.
Difficult--in part--because the pandemic dropped lot of that demand.
“That really set us back,” he said.
That demand has gradually returned, and since December, his new location of Colorado Children’s Academy has been up and running at the Willamette Ave. facility.
“We’re starting to see more and more children,” Silvas said.
But something else is keeping this center from reaching its full potential.
“A lot of neighbors and the public still believe that they are owners of this facility,” Silvas said.
“They” are the building’s former owners, including Carla Faith. Her formerly owned properties still carry a reputation.
“We actually got a few calls and they wanted us to reassure them that we are not involved with the previous owners,” Silvas said.
He says he only purchased the building, not faith’s business.
“Like I said, they have nothing to do with it,” he said.
He brought his own staff, his own curriculum, and even his own furniture.
He knew it would be a challenge going into this.
“I knew that’s why I was the person for the job, to open up this center,” Silvas said.
But the kids make it all worth it.
“I feel like it’s my duty to bring back that trust to all childcare centers in Colorado Springs,” he said.