A cheery crowd of children, parents, volunteers and staff gathered at the Fernie Childcare Society’s (FCS) new space at the Max Turyk Community Centre to celebrate their residence in the building.
“We’re really excited to be in Max Turyk,” said past FCS president Roberta McCafe. “It was the original location that we had planned for the society so it’s really exciting to be here.”
The FCS originally moved in to the space last month on Monday, March 2.
“We wanted to make sure we were all moved in and settled and we also wanted to plan our grand opening in conjunction with our Annual General Meeting so we could bring out families, community members and welcome new and old board members at the same time,” explained McCafe.
Project coordinator for the move and FCS treasurer Jikke Gyorki added, “The last month has been great and the staff really like it. It’s fresher and brighter and being associated with a facility with other child programs like after-school programs is really great. It’s awesome to have all these caregivers in one facility so we can help each other out.”
Gyorki addressed those that gathered to thank everyone for their contributions.
“It was a huge and very passionate project and we did it and we’re super happy and appreciative because there were a lot of people involved in making this happen,” said Gyorki. “The primary person that I’m happy to have here that was instrumental in making this happen was Craig MacKay from Graceland Builders. He contributed his time in helping stickhandle a lot of the contractors and was there with a jackhammer helping with some of the hard labour and we couldn’t have done it without him.”
The bulk of the funding for the move came from Columbia Basin Trust though Gyorki noted that while the funding was critical, so were in-kind donations as well as support from the City of Fernie.
Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano was on hand to assist with the ribbon cutting.
“I think it’s a wonderful move and it’s great to have this entire building be so child-oriented,” said Giuliano. “It’s a great place for them to be and I congratulate them on everything they’ve accomplished. It’s a huge undertaking but the City of Fernie and council were behind them 100 per cent … It’s a great day for Fernie, for parents and for childcare.”
FCS extended its hours of operation from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The FCS looks after children from 10 months to three years in its Infant and Toddler program as well as children aged 3-5.