For Immediate Release
Contact: Cassandra Stalzer, 907-334-0520

Sitka –  Children at the 3 to 5 Preschool  and those who attend Sitka Fine Arts Camps (SFAC) were the big winners last week as the Rasmuson Student Center building in Sitka is now secure as the permanent home for both organizations.

Rasmuson Student Center was a facility on the campus of Sheldon Jackson College, which closed in 2007. Ownership of the building had been in limbo for several years when the parties came together to develop a solution that would ultimately strengthen both organizations.

By negotiating a universally-beneficial resolution to an outstanding loan made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Sitka Fine Arts has become the new owner of the building, and 3 to 5 Preschool will stay as a long-term renter at favorable rates.

“Sitka Fine Arts Camps and 3 to 5 Preschool are important organizations focused on helping children achieve their highest potential,” said Rasmuson Foundation President Diane Kaplan, who assisted in the negotiations.

“The mutual goal of all of us involved in these discussions was to make sure these organizations were made more sustainable through a solid partnership so that they can continue to serve Alaska’s children,” said Kaplan.

“3-5 Preschool first wants to thank Rasmuson Foundation, Foraker Group and SFAC for their support and commitment to help our preschool to be located at the Rasmuson Building,” said Marcia Hirai, chair of 3 to 5 Preschool. “We are pleased that we now have a stable home for our school and children. We look forward to our continued partnership with the SFAC and having the opportunity to do more shared activities with the Tlinget-Haida Headstart which will also locate in the facility.”

Roger Schmidt, director of Sitka Fine Arts Camp agreed. “The Sitka Fine Arts Camp Board of Directors has a deep commitment to having the 3 to 5 Preschool and the Tlingit/Haida Head Start in the Rasmuson Building.” All of our organizations share a common purpose of serving young children and providing high quality educational experiences.”

About 3 to 5 Preschool
At 3 to 5 Preschool, we believe that children learn and develop best through play. Our mission is to create a supportive learning environment where all members of the school are accepted, nurtured and grow.

About Sitka Fine Arts Camp
Founded in 1973, the mission of Sitka Fine Arts Camp is to build community in Alaska by providing opportunities in arts, culture and recreation in an inclusive, educational and inspirational environment. Learn more at

About the Foundation
Rasmuson Foundation was created in May 1955 by Jenny Rasmuson to honor her late husband, “E.A.” Rasmuson. The Foundation is a catalyst to promote a better life for all Alaskans.