August 29, 2019 9:10 pm

New North Okanagan daycare delayed by unexpected costs

The Bridge Educational Society is building the daycare on a rural property near Lumby, B.C., where they already operate a school.

Megan Turcato / Global News

Dozens of families waiting for daycare spaces in the North Okanagan will have to wait a little bit longer.

The non-profit organization that’s building a new centre near Lumby is scrambling to find funding to cover an unexpected cost: on-campus fire fighting.

Watch (June 27, 2019): More childcare spaces needed in the South Okanagan

“We have to have two massive tanks put into the ground that will hold a quarter million litres of water in the event of a fire,” explained Roxanne Brierley, the capital campaign coordinator for the project.

READ MORE: Penticton childcare facility lands provincial funding; $10-a-day costs for parents

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Bridge Educational Society, the registered charity that’s building the daycare on a rural Lumby-area property already occupied by their Waldorf school, says the tanks were the cheapest option to meet fire suppression requirements under the B.C. Building Code.

The unexpected need for firefighting infrastructure adds another $200,000 to their project.

READ MORE: Parents of toddler who died at Vancouver daycare unable to locate operator to sue her

The daycare opening, which the society had hoped would take place in September, is now delayed while they fundraise to complete the requirements.

The society says the new daycare spaces are badly needed. They already have 80 kids on the waitlist for 63 spaces.

“(Daycare) doesn’t only help the children and the families. It helps local employers. It helps with labour shortages because people can return to work. It helps with the economic development of the region,” said Brierly.

READ MORE: Penticton family may have to move back to Ontario due to lack of affordable child care

They’ve already raised $1.4-million for the project through grants and donations and are now hoping to raise the final $300,000 to finish the daycare by November.

In the meantime, the society will be able to provide daycare for a fraction of the kids on the their waitlist at their existing school.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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