Dozens of families thought they might be out hundreds of dollars when the place they brought their children for tutoring abruptly closed this week. The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters got them answers.
Rush Turner of Windsor says the black curtains in the storefront told the story at the Sylvan Learning Center location in West Hartford. He says he showed up there yesterday with his daughter for a tutoring appointment, “Other parents showing up everybody's wondering what's going on, and I just found it really odd no phone calls made no emails”.
Turner says he never got a call or email from Sylvan about the closing and the business has $480 of his money that he paid in advance. When you call Sylvan's West Hartford phone number there is an outgoing message that says it had to close due to “...an unexpected breakdown in lease negotiations with the landlord...” adding parents should expect to hear about their accounts with Sylvan through the mail in the next week or two. None of this was satisfactory to Turner, or two other parents who contacted the Troubleshooters.
After the Troubleshooters started making calls, a spokesman for Sylvan's corporate parent said, “…the Sylvan Learning Center in West Hartford, Connecticut (was) suddenly closed on Monday by the owner, Paul Tarsa...he owns a center in Brookfield, Connecticut where he will continue to service students...a neighboring sylvan franchisee with a location in Southbury, Connecticut has committed to reopening the West Hartford, Connecticut Sylvan Learning Center in the exact same location March 17..."
The now former Sylvan West Hartford owner Paul Tarsa did not offer further explanation when we reached out to him.