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New Pumpkin House facility a step closer to reality in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

The Pumpkin House project got a big boost from the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Rotary Co-op fund.
The Pumpkin House project got a big boost from the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Rotary Co-op fund.

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY - Pumpkin House in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is an aging facility and needs to be replaced.  

The Early Childhood Development Association (ECDA) has been working on raising funds to replace it and got a big boost recently.

The Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay gave $100,000 to the project and the Happy Valley-Goose Bay Rotary Co-op fund gave $150,000.

Jamie Snook, Mayor of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, said the ECA approached them a few months back to replace Pumpkin House.

“It’s an aging facility, the daycare is already a challenge in town, and that’s the only facility,” he said. “Council was unanimous to become a partner on that and help.”

Colin, O’Brien, the vice-president of ECDA, said the donations will be a huge help and they’re really encouraged by the community support.

“We’re humbled by it. We were hopeful people would support it; it’s their kids, their grandkids, their employee’s kids. But some groups have really gone above and beyond. It really showed their commitment and belief in it.”

In addition to the funding, the Town also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the ECDA to develop greenspace next to the facility.

“We have a large lot, a double commercial lot we have had for 16 years. Instead of subdividing that lot and selling the balance of property, we’re going to develop ¾ of it. It will have the building, a fairly substantial parking lot and adjacent to that will be a greenspace area. The area itself is being jointly developed by the town and us.”

O’Brien said they’ll probably put a small garden there and are looking at doing a food demonstration project, putting a small greenhouse there for a healthy eating program for the early kids. He said they currently have an application in with the province for the Community Healthy Living Program.

They’ve been working on raising funds for the facility for about a year now. When completed it will house 88 space childcare spots, 58 daycare, and 30 afterschool. To date they have raised over $500,000 from 15 community partners. . In June, they confirmed $441,000 from Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to support the childcare capacity project.

They are currently at 99 per cent design stage and are working to issue the tender package by end of August, to allow time for bid submission, review and award by end of September. O’Brien said site and civil work would start immediately thereafter and the building would be enclosed by winter and work would advise into the spring with a tentative completion date on or about July 2018.

The new Wellness Centre the Town is developing will bring in additional 60 childcare spots, sorely needed in the community.

“We have a wait list going back two years now,” O’Brien said. “There’s a great need here and between us and the town we can help alleviate that a bit but it’s an ongoing need. We’re just happy the community sees this as important as we do.”

Partners in the project thus far are:

Happy Valley-Goose Bay Rotary/Co-op 50/50 Fund;

Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay;

Woodward Group of Companies;

Newfoundland and Labrador Building Construction Trades Council;

Eagle River Credit Union;

PAL/Air Borealis Airlines;

Terrington Consumers Co-operative Society ltd;

International Grenfell Association;

Royal Bank of Canada;

NunatuKavut Community Council;

Labrador North Chamber of Commerce;

Serco Canada;

Barnard Pennecon

RE/MAX Realty.

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