Update: Downtown LR Montessori School Closed, Parents Told by Email

Update: Downtown LR Montessori School Closed, Parents Told by Email

Urban Garden Montessori, the private school for children age 3 through sixth grade that opened in the fall of 2014 on Main Street in downtown Little Rock, closed last week, according to an email sent to parents.

Vera Chenault, head of the school, could not be contacted Tuesday, but an email under her name was sent last week to parents who had enrolled children in UGM's summer programs.

"I am very sorry to let you know that Urban Garden Montessori is closing, effective immediately," the June 15 email said. "Financial circumstances over the past 48 hours have forced us to make this decision.  We will not be able to continue the Summer Days program or hold summer camps at UGM after today. We will let you know about any refunds by August 15th.  I understand that this puts you in a difficult position, and I am sorry."

There was no indication of the closure on the school's website, and the voicemail at the main phone number warns callers of irregular office hours during the summer but says nothing about closing.

UGM had completed two academic years in rented space at 610 Main St. owned by Prachi Investment Inc., led by Dipesh and Jenny Patel. Eric Nelson of Moses Tucker Real Estate, the leasing agent for Prachi Investments, said Tuesday that he had heard about the email to parents but had received no notice from UGM that it would not renew its lease as expected. Contacted on Wednesday about reports that the school was evicted, Nelson confirmed that UGM had been late on rent but said Moses Tucker had not been involved in any eviction action.

Chenault, a licensed attorney, was a privacy officer for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences before incorporating Urban Garden Montessori as a nonprofit corporation in September 2013.

Arkansas Business attempted to contact several members of the board of directors as listed on the UGM website with no success.