Bright Beginnings Daycare in Headingley could soon have a new beginning.
Headingley chief administrative officer Chris Fulsher said the municipality is in talks with daycare officials about leasing space in the Headingley Community Centre.
A formal lease offer is expected to be extended to the daycare before the end of November, Fulsher said. The daycare would occupy space currently occupied Jim’s Vintage Garage, a car museum, if lease arrangements are finalized, he added.
Although the fate of the museum has yet to be determined, Fulsher said it is important to council to keep the daycare in the municipality.
The municipality’s offer comes as welcome news for members of the daycare’s board of directors, who have been searching for a new location for several years.
Board chair Gerry Munday said that the current location in the Church of Winnipeg, south of Roblin Boulevard, no longer meets the daycare’s needs. He said that a newly renovated location in the community centre would allow the daycare to increase the number of spaces it makes available to Headingley residents.
"If this deal goes through our goal is to expand our spaces," Munday said. "Even though we are still working on the lease agreement, this is still excellent news because we have been working on getting a new facility for the last four years."
Bright Beginnings currently has 50 preschool spaces and 10 infant care spaces. Munday said moving to the community centre would allow the daycare to increase the number of preschool spaces to 58 and infant care to 12 spaces.
He said that the increase in infant spaces would be particularly significant because of the strong demand for infant care in the community.
The daycare’s current lease with the church is set to expire next spring. Munday said he doesn’t expect the daycare to move prior to that time because the community centre space would require extensive renovations.
"The space requires a ton of renovations in order to be daycare ready," Munday explained. "So we will likely be in our current space until those renovations are done."
The renovations are expected to cost approximately $600,000 and include a sprinkler system, additional walls and bathrooms and more natural lighting.
The provincial government has indicated it will provide a third of the renovation costs, Munday said.
"We are also hoping that the R.M. will be able to help with renovation costs, but we are still in discussions with them," he said.
Munday said the daycare will still have to raise a significant portion of the renovation costs on its own.
"We are hoping to raise quite a bit through fundraising and our gala dinner," Munday added. "And the rest of the short fall we are going to have to finance."
The gala dinner will be held Oct. 23 at The Gates. Tickets can be purchased from the daycare by calling 895-1147.