Work starts on childcare centre

Zoe Webster from Byron Intervention Services (left), Brant Wood, manager of Woollam Constructions, and Cr Jan Barham on site.
Zoe Webster from Byron Intervention Services (left), Brant Wood, manager of Woollam Constructions, and Cr Jan Barham on site.
Work on the $1.39 million Suffolk Park Childcare Centre has started and should be completed by mid-2010.

Located at Coogera Circuit, Suffolk Park, the purpose-built integrated childcare facility will house Byron Shire Early Intervention Service, Byron Bay Preschool and Byron Toy Library.

Byron Mayor Cr Jan Barham said the childcare centre was a much-welcomed addition to the area and would provide vital community services to the popular family residential area of Suffolk Park and the wider Byron Shire communities.

“The land was originally obtained as part of the Suffolk Park residential development and identified to provide community services which contributed to the social well-being of the community,” she said.

“The new centre will provide 29 preschool places and the toy library will act as a wonderful gathering point for young families.

“Plus Byron Shire Early Intervention Service will also finally have a permanent place to deliver essential ongoing services to families our region.”

Cr Barham said the centre would encourage new families to the area and support existing families in juggling work-lifestyle commitments.

Byron Shire Early Intervention Service director Zoe Webster said the new centre would create a strong foundation for their service to grow.

Ms Webster said the new centre would provide stability and allow the service to focus on developing specific intervention programs that it had been unable to do in the past.

“We’re very excited about being in our purpose-built centre and being able to provide a comfortable motivational environment. Plus it is a great advantage to be so close to other valuable children’s services,” she said.

The new centre meets all energy and efficiency requirements of the Building Code of Australia and has been designed to maximise natural lighting and cooling features.

The council’s property manager, Trish Kirkland, said the building featured covered breezeways, high ceilings and bi-fold doors to capture and direct the coastal breezes throughout the centre.

Ms Kirkland said the careful design of the building and roof meant that there was no need for air-conditioning.

She said the centre also featured water tanks that would be used for irrigation, covered balconies, environmentally friendly insulation, energy efficient lighting and soft fall playground matting made from recycled materials.

The centre is being constructed by Woollam Constructions and according to manager Brant Wood, more than 45 local contractors are involved with the project.

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