Sylvan Learning Center closes after 15 years

More than 4,000 children and adults benefitted from Sylvan Learning Center testing and tutoring during Sylvan’s 15 years of operation in Grand Junction.

But the center at 1655 N. First St. closed in December because of economic pressure, according to owners Sonni and David Durham.

Some clients moved away. Others lost family income. For a few clients, decisions came down to “feed your kid or educate them,” Sonni Durham said.

“It’s a shame so many kids are in need of this (service), and there’s really no place to go now,” David Durham said.

There are no Sylvan Learning Centers between Denver and Salt Lake City, which is why students would come from as far away as Aspen to attend Sylvan classes, David Durham said.

The Durhams opened the learning center after their son missed sixth grade because of illness.

A family member suggested they start a Sylvan Learning Center on the Western Slope to help the boy catch up with his class. A few years later, the Durhams had their franchise up and running.

David Durham said he will continue to sell real estate for Bray and Co. to make ends meet. The former Sylvan building’s contents are currently for sale. The Durhams are hosting a “yard” sale inside the building and selling desks, bookshelves and other furnishings.

The building likely will house a dental office next, Durham said.


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