Construction is underway for a new daycare facility on the Stickwood Walker property after years of pandemic-related delays.
Denison Child Care said it has contractor Gay Construction Company on site now building on the historic property, located at 605 Fernbank Rd. and 900 Mulock Dr. The town confirmed it granted a conditional building permit and finished its latest site inspection April 13.
The town provided a 10-year lease of the property in 2019 for Denison to repurpose and restore the existing home, along with the building of the daycare project. The municipality forecasted a 2020 completion for the daycare, but Denison said circumstances changed.
“Delays have been due to COVID-19, shutdowns, supply issues,” executive director Nancy Mosey said. “Nothing unusual for the construction climate of today.”
The property features a one-and-a-half-storey Gothic Revival house dating back to 1885 and has a heritage designation. It was owned by the Stickwood family, once the town's only manufacturer of bricks. In addition to developing a child care space, Denison is to preserve the farmhouse and repurpose it for public use, with historic photographs to be displayed according to a 2019 press release.
The daycare proposed will have 73 spaces for children from infancy to preschool age. The building will be separate from the farmhouse and was expected to have an approximate floor area of 531 square metres.
The town said it has provided a permit to start construction for the foundation and servicing, though there is more before the approval of the complete site plan.
“The town is working with the applicant to ensure that the remaining administrative items are completed in a timely manner,” the municipality said. “Due to a number of complexities with the site plan, this project has taken longer to complete.”
Mosey said the costs are significantly higher than when approvals were given in 2019, but they hope to complete construction by the end of the year.