The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied

Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island Preschool Society is able to include a metal roof in the construction of a new daycare/preschool.

The Comox Valley Regional District has committed $10,000 to the project, while a matching donor contributed $5,000. The remainder comes from community members and Go Fund Me donations.

“We partnered with the school district to get our preschool built, but because of COVID, building costs went through the roof,” society president Kerri Boland said. “Different things had to come off of the project, but we were really committed to getting a metal roof.”

The society wound up with more than enough money to pay for a metal roof, which will allow for water catchment, among other benefits. Surplus funds could support a playground, covered play area, a fenced area in the shade and a cistern.

“It’s phenomenal,” Boland said. “The community has been so supportive of this building. I think of it as generational change for the island. To have a dedicated space for early childhood education is phenomenal.”

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre is Denman’s only licensed childcare provider. The centre has outgrown its space in the back of the Community Hall, which could only accommodate eight to 10 children a day. However, a $992,520 provincial grant to construct the new facility will allow for 20 additional spaces for children 12 months to five years.