By this time next year, Children’s Circle Daycare expects to be fully operational at its new Sagebrush (South Kamloops) location, which broke ground on Monday.
“We’re ambitiously hoping for a 12-month build period,” said Amy Pannett, secretary of the Children’s Circle Daycare Society board.
The $4.7-million project is now under construction at the corner of McMurdo Drive and Ninth Avenue and will give the day care 12,000 square feet of space, up from the 3,000 square feet it had at its former location near Royal Inland Hospital.
The day care was forced to move because of the patient-care tower construction project at the hospital. It is now operating out of a temporary location downtown on Seymour Street, which is smaller than its site near the hospital.
Pannett said the increased square footage will enable the day care to increase its capacity to 144 child-care spaces by adding on another 96 to the existing 48 spaces.
“We’re essentially tripling our capacity,” Pannett said, noting the demand for child care in the city.
At present, Children’s Circle Daycare offers child care in two programs for children to age five, and that will continue. It will add before- and after-school care and a preschool program when its new facility is built.
The day care will also be hiring another five to 10 employees as a result, Pannett said.
The society was initially going to build a new site in Valleyview, on land next to the McCracken Station Pub, but as a result of a land swap with the City of Kamloops, it will be building in the more desired Sagebrush location — one that is in a residential neighbourhood, near schools and closer to the downtown core, where 90 per cent of day care children’s parents work, Pannett said.
“From our perspective, this location is far better,” she said, noting that finding a location big enough with the outdoor space desired is virtually impossible in the city’s core.
The new building will be a two-storey facility with a kitchen and a large outdoor playground on the property.