Even with a few delays to start construction, the new Edmonton Avenue Child Care Centre in Penticton is still on track to be open by the fall of 2022.
Members of the media and representatives of the city, province and OneSky Community Resources were invited to visit the construction site where the walls are now being raised.
The project is set to add 116 new childcare spaces to the city, as part of meeting the goal of 722 required over the next 10 years set out in the city’s latest child care action plan.
According to Adam Goodwin, the city’s manager of social development, construction is on track to finish in August of 2022, with the project then going to Interior Health for final checks and approval for the opening in the fall, despite two early challenges.
“With the Thomas Creek wildfire, because it was within 50 kilometres of the fire insurers were hesitant to provide construction insurance, so we had to wait until the fire was classified as under control,” said Goodwin. “As well with the flooding in Princeton and other areas in the south some sub-contractors had to reallocate resources to help with that emergency, and given the emergency, we were happy to cooperate with the contractors.”
Once the facility is completed, there will be a mix of infant spaces, toddler spaces and before and after school care for as many parents as they can.
“One of the reasons the city wanted to be a partner on this project was from the business community and speaking with families that we heard about the child care crisis,” said Goodwin. “It was impacting their hiring and ability to retain families in our area, and we wanted to be part of the solution.”
While the project is being built on land donated by the city, and the funding is coming from the province and the Union of B.C. Municipalities, OneSky will be operating the facility.
OneSky has already opened up a wait list for the facility, and any parent interested in getting their child into the facility is asked to contact them, which can be done by phoning 250-492-5814.
“It’s going to be a 9,000 square foot facility, with six child care rooms,” lead architect Chris Allen told those gathered.
Some of the features of the new building include extra insulation, vaulted ceilings, and a slanted roof that would make it ideal for future solar panels. The project is funded by the, and those funds are going into the main construction of the project.
The facility will be built to be ready to be hooked up with the panels at a later date, and it will be highly sustainable even without them with electric heating and cooling and a passive solar design on the south side thanks to the windows of the building.
Families and members of the public are urged to continue maintaining a safe distance from construction activity while using Kiwanis Park. Intermittent closures in the area may be necessary as construction continues.
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