© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar gets help cutting the ribbon from kids Baden Hawko and Alexis Sperry, while childcare manager Renee Lusby looks on.
AMHERST – Kids, parents and dignitaries were on hand Monday at 12 p.m. for the ribbon cutting to officially open the YMCA Early Learning Centre.
Construction began at the centre in May and was complete in October.
“The playgrounds were done through the month of November,” said Cumberland CEO, Trina Clarke. “From there we, internally, started the set up and getting it licensed and we officially opened our doors Dec. 28.
“It was on time and on budget. We can’t ask for more than that,” she added.
The early learning centre cost $1.3 million to build and is Phase 2 of a three-phase refurbishment process.
The $1.3 was made available through the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.
“The $1.3, of which $997,000 is a forgivable mortgage, could hardly be better spent,” said Brian Skabar, MLA for Cumberland North.
“It’s a 75 per cent forgivable loan,” said Clarke. “We pay back the other 25 per cent over a 25-year mortgage period, at one per cent interest.”
The new facility can accommodate 164 chidren.
“That’s how many could be here at one time but because some of our programs are part-day we could have more than 200 kids come through here in the run of a day,” said Clarke. “That’s probably a 45-child increase from what we had before.”