New Pump­kin House fa­cil­ity a step closer to re­al­ity

‘It’s an ag­ing fa­cil­ity, the day­care is al­ready a chal­lenge in town’

The Labradorian - - FRONT PAGE - BY EVAN CAREEN

Pump­kin House in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay is an ag­ing fa­cil­ity and needs to be re­placed. The Early Child­hood Devel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (ECDA) has been work­ing on rais­ing funds to re­place it and got a big boost re­cently.

The Town of Happy Val­leyGoose Bay gave $100,000 to the project and the Happy Val­leyGoose Bay Ro­tary Co-op fund gave $150,000.

Jamie Snook, mayor of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay, said the ECA ap­proached them a few months back to re­place Pump­kin House.

“It’s an ag­ing fa­cil­ity, the day­care is al­ready a chal­lenge in town, and that’s the only fa­cil­ity,” he said. “Coun­cil was unan­i­mous to be­come a part­ner on that and help.”

Colin, O’Brien, the vicepres­i­dent of ECDA, said the do­na­tions will be a huge help and they’re re­ally en­cour­aged by the com­mu­nity sup­port.

“We’re hum­bled by it. We were hope­ful peo­ple would sup­port it; it’s their kids, their grand­kids, their em­ployee’s kids. But some groups have re­ally gone above and be­yond. It re­ally showed their com­mit­ment and be­lief in it.”

In ad­di­tion to the fund­ing, the town also signed a Me­moran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing with the ECDA to de­velop green space next to the fa­cil­ity.

“We have a large lot, a dou­ble com­mer­cial lot we have had for 16 years. In­stead of sub­di­vid­ing that lot and sell­ing the bal­ance of prop­erty, we’re go­ing to de­velop three-quar­ters of it. It will have the build­ing, a fairly sub­stan­tial park­ing lot and ad­ja­cent to that will be a green space area. The area it­self is be­ing jointly de­vel­oped by the town and us.”

O’Brien said they’ll prob­a­bly put a small gar­den there and are look­ing at do­ing a food demon­stra­tion project, put­ting a small green­house there for a healthy eat­ing pro­gram for the early kids. He said they cur­rently have an ap­pli­ca­tion in with the province for the Com­mu­nity Healthy Liv­ing Pro­gram.

They’ve been work­ing on rais­ing funds for the fa­cil­ity for about a year now. When com­pleted it will house 88 space child­care spots, 58 day­care, and 30 af­ter school. To date they have raised more than $500,000 from 15 com­mu­nity part­ners. In June, they con­firmed $441,000 from the gov­ern­ment of New­found­land and Labrador to sup­port the child­care ca­pac­ity project.

They are cur­rently at the 99 per cent de­sign stage and are work­ing to is­sue the ten­der pack­age by end of Au­gust, to al­low time for bid sub­mis­sion, re­view and award by end of Septem­ber. O’Brien said site and civil work would start im­me­di­ately there­after and the build­ing would be en­closed by win­ter and work would ad­vise into the spring with a ten­ta­tive com­ple­tion date on or about July 2018.

The new Well­ness Cen­tre the town is de­vel­op­ing will bring in ad­di­tional 60 child­care spots, sorely needed in the com­mu­nity.

“We have a wait list go­ing back two years now,” O’Brien said. “There’s a great need here and be­tween us and the town we can help al­le­vi­ate that a bit but it’s an on­go­ing need. We’re just happy the com­mu­nity sees this as im­por­tant as we do.”

Part­ners in the project thus far are:

Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Ro­tary/Co-op 50/50 Fund;

Town of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay; Wood­ward Group of Com­pa­nies; New­found­land and Labrador Build­ing Con­struc­tion Trades Coun­cil; Ea­gle River Credit Union; PAL/Air Bo­re­alis Air­lines; Ter­ring­ton Con­sumers Co-op­er­a­tive So­ci­ety ltd; In­ter­na­tional Gren­fell As­so­ci­a­tion; Royal Bank of Canada; Nu­natuKavut Com­mu­nity Coun­cil;

Labrador North Cham­ber of Com­merce;

Serco Canada;

Barnard Pen­necon

RE/MAX Re­alty.

SUBMITTED

The Pump­kin House project got a big boost last week from the Town of Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay and the Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Ro­tary Co-op fund.

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