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This article was published 6/10/2017 (254 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The connection between a landmark church and a popular daycare is growing more concrete.
On Sept. 30, there was an event to mark the official grand opening of Little Saints Learning Centre at 5 St. Vital Rd. and the new parking lot at St. Mary Magdalene Church at 3 St. Vital Rd.
Brian Crow, the church’s people’s warden and the chair of the church’s property committee, told The Lance the Anglican parish of St. Mary Magdalene is home to 27 non-profit community groups that use the church facilities for their programs.
Crow said it was a longtime goal to pave the dirt lane beside the church to "provide cleaner and safer access into the building." Two years ago, the rectory property at 5 St. Vital Rd. was purchased by the centre to build a 48-space facility, which gave the parish an opportunity to develop an eight-space paved parking lot between the two buildings. The lot was designed so that parents of kids in the daycare — which is not affiliated with the church — could use it for safe drop-off away from the bustle of the main road, and seniors could use it when attending programs during the week.
"Now parents can come off St. Vital Road and unload their kids safely," Crow said, noting there is an arrangement in place that allows the daycare to use the church in case of an emergency.
"Because we worked together, we’ve been able to do more for the community than if we’d done it individually, so I think it’s a case of one and one equalling three. The daycare is a great community resource, and we had other offers for the property in the past including for a fourplex. I know that housing is needed, but this a great option, so I’m glad it’s worked out like this."
Candice Savage, executive director of Little Saints Learning Centre, is delighted with how the collaboration has worked out.
"We’ve been able to meet the needs of infant care, and there is a big need in the community," Savage said, noting the original Little Saints Learning Centre is still in operation at 15 St. Mark’s Pl. in St. Vital.
"We have 16 infant spots, as well as 32 preschool spots, and it’s been a new experience having babies in the program. When designing the building, it was very important to us that it felt like a house in a residential neighbourhood, albeit just a little bit bigger than a regular house."
Crow said funding for the church’s portion of the project came from all three levels of government, the Winnipeg Foundation, and the Anglican Church of Canada.
Savage said funding for the daycare’s portion of the project came from the federal and provincial governments, the Winnipeg Foundation, and the Manitoba Community Services Council.
Crow said a specially-made tool shed was also purchased from Habitat from Humanity for the site, which is made of wood left over from a house build.
The church building was constructed in 1926, Crow said.
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at email@example.com Call him at 204-697-7111