By Grant McDaniel

PORT HOOD: The future venue of an Inverness County child care facility was on display last Thursday as members of the Bayview Child Development Centre Association took locals on a tour of what will soon be a much-needed day care centre.

“I think it’s a sign that good things are starting to come back,” said Stephen Graham, chair of the association’s board. “If we were to look at something like this 10 years ago, there wouldn’t be the population to fill this space.

“When you are trying to get things together like this, the biggest obstacle is finding a place for it. To build something like this would cost you several hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the facility we have here [Bayview Education Centre], we’re very fortunate. It also works to the school board’s benefit as well, the classrooms are empty and this keeps it going.”

As Graham indicated, the day care facility will be located at Bayview Education Centre. Because the facility will be housed in a school, the construction cost is lower than if it were built from scratch. Once the designated space is remodeled, the centre will be able to serve between 42-46 children.

A survey was done prior to the project being started, and the results showed upwards of 82 Inverness County parents were interested in using the centre.

The local centre is being helped along by funding from the federal government. In total, $100,000 was earmarked for Bayview.

Though the government funding should go a long way in terms of renovations, a great number of costs will still have to be handled by the association. Helping with some of that funding are the East Coast Credit Union and Port Hood and Area Development.

Handing over cheques at the Thursday event were Clarke Gillies of Port Hood Area Development and two representatives of the East Coast Credit Union, Teresa MacDonald and Annette MacDonell. MacDonald is the manager of the Port Hood and Mabou branches, and MacDonell is the assistant manager.

“It’s good not only for Port Hood but the surrounding communities as a job creator,” Gillies said, noting that eight or nine full-time positions will be created at the centre. “It’s a great place for families to leave their kids and not worry.”

“Supporting community is extremely important to the Credit Union, so when we have opportunity to show our support by giving funds, we’re very happy to do so,” MacDonald said.

In addition to funds being raised by local groups, the Bayview group has an operational GoFundMe page ready to roll. The page can be found at: www.gofundme.com/build-the-bayview-daycare.

When asked about a timeline of getting the project complete, Graham said hammers ought to start swinging in the near future.

“It’ll be very soon, and it’s safe to say that it’s probably going to open in the summer,” he said.

“We’re looking for support from the community, and we want to support the community. This will be great for kids and their families, and we’ll be creating jobs. Anytime you can do that on the western side of the island is a great thing.”