Renovations to the Parksville Community Centre (PCC) are underway to facilitate 91 new child care spaces and programming for different age groups, family supports and an outdoor recreation space.
The work is moving ahead thanks to $2,034,829 in provincial funding from the ChildCareBC New Spaces Fund and the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), according to a media release from the city.
BGC Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI) will operate the Parksville Child and Family Centre and manage community use of the PCC. The centre will open for summer programming and in September will facilitate infants, preschool, before and after school programming and family programming. BGCCVI is already working with user groups to reserve space, according to the city.
“The PCC will soon open as the BGCCVI Parksville Child and Family Centre along with community access once again. We are proud to partner with BGCCVI to provide safe and reliable child care along with community programming,” said Ed Mayne, Parksville mayor. “This past two years have been challenging for parents impacted by the pandemic and the new accessible and available child care spaces will help ease the strain for families with young children in our community.”
MKM Projects Inc. is leading the work in the PCC, according to the city. Building renovations will include enhancements to community use spaces and construction of new amenities to support the Parksville Child and Family Centre spaces.
A rollup divider will be installed in the auditorium and new washrooms constructed adjacent to the main entrance. Child care spaces will be constructed in two former meeting spaces and a ‘teen space’ will be created in an under-utilized former storage area.
“Creating more child care spaces will make a big difference for families in Parksville and I’m very glad to see these renovations are moving forward,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Our PCC is a great resource and I appreciate all of the efforts to make sure the space is used in the most efficient way, so that other community members can continue to enjoy it outside of the child care hours.”
Outdoor play spaces at the rear of the building will accommodate early years (infants and toddlers) and daycare (30 months to five years) programming, as well as an out-of-school care play area on the grassed area. The play spaces are designed with an emphasis on natural play and will integrate the existing topography and trees to create an engaging space for children to play and learn, according to the city.
The spaces are publicly accessible when not in use by the daycare programs. There will be some minor reconfigurations to the parking lot around the PCC to add crosswalks and large vehicle parking spaces. Two 24-passenger buses will be purchased so children can be bused between out-of-school care at the Parksville Child and Family Centre and their local schools, according to the city.
The centre was home to Island Health’s vaccination clinic from March to September 2021 and from November 2021 through to March 10, 2022. Along with community access this fall, the PCC will continue to be the primary location for local government voting in October.
City staff will update Parksville Council and the public about the project during council’s April 11 meeting.