County to explore school site for daycare centre

Adam Bramburger
Beaver Staff

After Loyalist Township council voted against allowing a standalone County-owned daycare facility at the site of its community hub, Lennox and Addington is circling back to the Fairfield Public School site.

At its inaugural meeting Dec. 12, County council received an update from its children’s services manager Pam Kent about the recent decision by Loyalist.

Kent reminded the new councillors that Prince Edward-Lennox and Addington Social Services applied for and received funding to replace the current 39-space daycare operated by Lennox and Addington Resources for Children (LARC) at the Kildare Road school in Amherstview with a new 49-space facility that includes space for infants. She said the funding requires a custom-built daycare centre to be operational by Dec. 31, 2020 and have floor-plan approvals by March 1, 2019.

Though it would be possible for Loyalist to change its mind, Kent said officials from the two levels of municipal government had discussed the project since February. Time to secure funding is running out.

“We’re concerned with the tight deadline,” Kent said.

Staff has also had discussions with the Limestone District School Board about building a new structure on the existing Fairfield Public School site. Kent said the board’s staff would prefer to sever and sell a piece of land on the school’s ground for the build, but that process would take too much time. She recommended council provide a letter of intent to the board, calling for a one-year lease with an intent to negotiate purchase of the land and that it start a request for proposals for design and consulting services.

At the time of her report, Kent indicated staff was unsure if the direction would meet the province’s requirements for the funding. She said they remained committed to building in Amherstview using grant money.

“We’re exploring every potential opportunity we have,” she told councillors.

Kent estimated there’d be a minimal financial risk of between $10,000 to $15,000 to proceed with the request for proposals to develop floor plans in the event a suitable location was not secured.

Council adopted her recommendation without comment.

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