Children’s Circle Daycare Society has been given another extension from Interior Health to stay in its location, which will eventually become a new hospital parking lot, as the non-profit awaits the opening of its facility in the Sagebrush neighbourhood.
The society cares for kids at 904 Third Ave. It was scheduled to vacate at the end of the year, due to Royal Inland Hospital’s expansion. However, Interior Health has confirmed it is working with private contractor Ellis Don to allow the day care to remain in its location until June 2020. This is the second extension.
“After that date, site preparation is expected to begin,” stated an email message from Interior Health to KTW.
Children Circle Daycare Society transition manager Wenda Noonan is relieved. She said that despite the society learning in 2018 that its lease would not be renewed, it has been “extremely difficult” to find a new, temporary location, as Arpa Investments works toward building a new facility.
“We’re super happy about it [extension],” Noonan told KTW.
Property for the facility, located just up the road from Sagebrush Theatre, was recently rezoned by city council, with hopes shovels would hit the ground this fall. However, Noonan said the project is being held up awaiting a building permit from the city. She said it may not be issued until as late as February, pushing back the project timeline. Noonan is telling parents not to worry, however, as the society pursues alternate locations to move into next summer.
“We are in negotiations with one lease right now,” she said, though she would not disclose details.
As to whether Interior Health could extend the lease for a third time, in order to close the time gap between locations for the non-profit — that’s unlikely.
“This is part of a complex contractual agreement with Ellis Don, which incorporates a very stringent completion date,” Interior Health stated by email. “Both Ellis Don and Interior Health have worked together to try to accommodate the day care as much as possible and within the project schedule. We have actually be able to provide two lease extensions in support of the day care. The day-care operator is aware of the project schedule.”
The Children’s Circle Daycare Society is also hammering out budget details and a partnership with Interior Health, in order to apply for provincial grant funding for new child-care spaces. The new facility is expected to provide about 70 new spaces and the society has an ongoing wait list for its services.