Construction begins on U of S child care centre

Construction has begun on the University of Saskatchewan's newest child care centre.

By Kris Foster
"As a university we've become increasingly aware of the need for more child care spaces," said Interim President Gordon Barnhart. "It is also a particularly important factor affecting the accessibility of post-secondary education for students who have a demonstrated need for child care."

Gabriel Construction was awarded the tendered contract to build the centre, which is expected to cost $4,577,380—nearly $217,000 lower than expected. Members of the child-care expansion team are looking at using the saved funds to renovate and add more space to the existing USSU Child Care centre.

The majority of funding for the new centre came from the university and the Ministry of Education ($1.3 million).

"Our government recognizes the importance of providing child care spaces where they are needed the most," Education Minister Don Morgan said. "This new facility will give parents at the university convenient access to high quality child care so they can focus on furthering their education as they prepare to join our growing economy."

The one-storey building will be located on the university's College Quarter west of the Souris Hall residence building. It is too early to confirm a completion date, but Patti McDougall, the lead of the child-care expansion project, said she hopes the building will be complete in the spring of 2016.

McDougall said that of the total 200 spaces on campus following the completion of the new centre, 75 per cent will be reserved for the children of university students and 25 per cent for the children of university employees.

The physical environment of the child care facility is seen as a living system and it will offer children the opportunity to learn and be inspired, according to McDougall. Children will be encouraged to learn what elements the building is made up of, and instead of hiding or covering surfaces, polished concrete floors and a beautiful wood ceiling will be exposed.

To ensure proximity to the outdoor play space, McDougall said each of the rooms has direct access to the outdoors, and windows have been specifically placed lower to be at a child's height.


For more information, contact:

Meghan Sired

U of S Communications Co-ordinator

306-966-6068 (office), 306-381-7992 (cell)