© Ashley Thompson
Staff and students at the Windsor Day Care Centre gather in front of the construction site that will soon host their long-awaited new facility.
Construction is underway at the future site of the new Windsor Day Care Centre.
Workers with the Halifax-based Avondale Construction broke ground at the Victoria Street property, behind the Windsor Regional Library, on May 1.
Senior construction manager Paul Clarke anticipates the $1 million build, which will require 35 workers at peak production, will be complete by the end of September.
Clarke says the two-story, 5,000 square foot building will blend well with the neighbourhood. The playgrounds will be fenced in, as per regulations, but, he says, the centre will be “wide open and inviting.”
The design calls for in-floor heating on the lower level of the daycare centre that is licensed for 80 children. The extra space will allow for an infant program that was not possible in the old building. Eight spaces will be reserved for infants.
Clarke says he stuck with the project that was awarded to Avondale Construction through a tender process more than two years ago, and offered free consulting when needed, because he sees the Windsor Day Care Centre upgrade as a venture that’s “in the best interest of the children.”
“I just took a personal interest in it. I have young children as well so it became kind of a pet project for me to keep moving and keep helping with (it) until we brought it to fruition.”
The project was stalled when the Windsor Day Care Society (WDCS) had to reapply for funding that was promised by the provincial government, under Conservative rule, in 2008.
The province is supporting the new childcare centre to the tune of a $675,000 forgivable loan, and a $225,000 low-interest loan. The Hants-Kings Community Business Development Corporation also issued a $150,000 loan to help the society exceed the million-dollar mark.
WDCS president Leslie Porter says the society is focused on fundraising to clear away the $375,000 debt they will take on in exchange for a new facility.
“We still have a lot of work to do but now it’s all positive.”
The society has booked rising country music artist Josh Macumber, a CMT-featured singer who saw two singles from his debut CD chart within the Top 50 in Canada, for a charity concert at Avon View High School on June 23.
Porter says she simply had to invite Macumber, who considers Cheverie as home, to lend his talents to the daycare’s cause and the rising star was on board.
Enfield’s Makayla Lynn — a 10-year-old singer/songwriter who has already shared the stage with some country music greats — and New Minas’ Kevin Davision — a popular Valley-based musician who recently played a sold out show in Hantsport —will open for Macumber.
The goal is to sell 500 tickets at $35 each.
“All proceeds are going to the daycare,” Porter said. “The entertainers are all donating their time.”
Sponsors Janet White, of Full Circle Realty,and Brian MacDonald, of Swinamer’s Home Building Centre, are covering the costs of the concerts.
Money raised in community-based events will be used to put a down payment on the mortgage, cover landscaping fees that may be accrued following the build and to help the society purchase equipment for the infant playground.
The society is also running a program that will give community members an opportunity to purchase a tile in the lobby of the new centre that can be engraved with a name of their choosing.