An expansion to a childcare service in Stratford will help alleviate the problem of not having enough spaces, says Mayor Steve Ogden.
During last Wednesday’s meeting, council unanimously voted to give preliminary approval for the centre to construct a 2,760-sq. ft. two-storey building at 251 Mason Rd., next to its current daycare facility.
Ogden said it was good to see the service expand.
“It’s something that’s badly needed in Stratford,” said Ogden. “At one point, people were telling me anecdotally it was a two-year waiting list for childcare, especially for younger children.”
Owner Jennifer Matthews told council she had hoped to have the building ready in September, although noted it was starting to get late.
“(Once) we have the permits in hand, we’ll break ground as soon as possible,” said Matthews.
In the existing daycare building, there are about 107 children who are five years old and younger.
The new building will see about 60 children between the ages of five to 12 years old. Currently, those older children are at two school-age centres in the town.
Matthews said once the construction is complete, the current daycare building will be renovated to accommodate an additional 20 children.
“That will be after the completion of construction and all the children are relocated,” she said.
With a new roundabout being installed nearby on the Trans-Canada Highway, Mason Road will essentially become a dead-end street that will see Milestones parking at the closed end.
Coun. Derek Smith asked if the area would need to be fenced-in, given its proximity to the highway. However, that is not required by the town for the development, and planning director Kevin Reynolds noted the children are required to be escorted from the bus directly into the building.
The building will be fully serviced with municipal sewer and water and will contain surface parking for 32 vehicles.
The preliminary approval is also conditional on a number of agreements, including a detailed service plan, stormwater management plan, landscaping plan and an erosion plan for during construction.