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Penticton, B.C. childcare facility on track to open by fall of 2022

Click to play video: 'Construction on Penticton, B.C. child care facility back on track'
Construction on Penticton, B.C. child care facility back on track
The walls for the Edmonton Avenue child care facility have started to go up, brining it one step closer to completion. On Wednesday, city officials and local community members gathered for a brief site tour and project update. – Mar 9, 2022

The walls for the Edmonton Avenue childcare facility in Penticton, B.C. have started to go up, bringing it one step closer to completion.

On Wednesday, city officials and local community members gathered for a brief site tour and project update.

“We anticipate finishing construction in late August and then the project will go through the licensing phase just to ensure that it is safe from Interior Health’s perspective, then we anticipate opening up in early fall 2022,” said Penticton social development specialist, Adam Goodwin.

Construction on the long-awaited centre began in November after several delays.

Click to play video: 'Penticton, B.C., parents scramble to find child care as city develops action plan'
Penticton, B.C., parents scramble to find child care as city develops action plan

“It has faced two challenges. With the Thomas Creek wildfire, because it was within 50 kilometres of the fire, insurers were a bit hesitant to provide construction insurance so we had to wait till the fire was classed as under control,” said Goodwin.

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“As well as the flooding in Princeton and other regions in the South, some sub-contractors did have to reallocate some resources.”

Penticton is in dire need of more child-care spaces as there is an ongoing shortage of licensed childcare facilities. The new centre will provide 116 new spaces for the community.

“One of the reasons the city wanted to be a partner on this project was from the business community, from business surveys and from speaking with families, we heard about the local childcare crisis,” said Goodwin.

“Businesses were sharing with us that it was impacting their hiring and ability to retain families in our area. We want to be part of the solution and we were able to find great partners with the province and OneSky Community Resources to make this project happen.”

In January, city council endorsed the Penticton Child Care Action Plan, which identified a need for at least 722 childcare spaces in the future.

Chris Allen, Landform Architecture principal, says the building was designed to last for years.

“A lot of generations will pass through here. To create a space with lots of natural light and opens into a playground rather than being in a basement or out of the way place. It is nice to be able to provide that for the community,” said Allen.

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The space was designed to be net-zero ready and energy-efficient. The design has also incorporated solar oriented windows which will provide more light inside the building.

“It’s got wiring in place so that solar panels can be added on the south facing roofs in the near future. And with the solar panels in place, the building would then be net-zero,” said Allen.

The building has also been specially designed to fit the needs of children as the facility will have a mix of infant and toddler spaces as well as before- and after-school care.

“The windows all come down to the floor so that the kids get nice views out. The washrooms of course incorporate small size toilets and low counters for sinks,” said Allen.

“Every childcare space opens into an outdoor play area so that the movement indoor to outdoor is really fluid and easy for supervisors to keep a tab on everyone.”

Click to play video: 'Spaces for 84 kids at new Coldstream childcare centre'
Spaces for 84 kids at new Coldstream childcare centre

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