(THE NEWS/files)                                Calida Russell with Start Smart Childcare showing room, where most of the furnishings have to be replaced.

(THE NEWS/files) Calida Russell with Start Smart Childcare showing room, where most of the furnishings have to be replaced.

Flooded out daycare, child development centre, now in six places

No estimate on reopening of main premises after September flash flood

Ridge Meadows Child Development Centre is limping along by offering its therapeutic programs in three different locations after being flooded out from its permanent home on Sept. 14.

Society executive-director Shawn Matthewson said that local Freemasons have offered up the Prince David Masonic Lodge on 116th Avenue, just off the Haney Bypass, at no charge to the centre, for six months.

“We’re just so grateful to them for that space,” said Matthewson.

Katzie First Nation is also helping out by making part of the new Early Years Centre available.

“Which is awesome, they’ve been really accommodating to our staff.”

The child development centre also has space in a portable in Edith McDermott elementary in Pitt Meadows to offer therapeutic programs and two suites in the Haney Professional Building.

“So people have really done wonderful things,” said Matthewson.

Once Upon a Tea Leaf and Keller Williams Elite Realty have done or are doing fundraisers.

“So people have really stepped up and supported us through this time,” Matthewson said.

“There have definitely been challenges along the way, but we’re trying to maintain our service levels … so there are not gaps in service levels for them.”

The child development centre, along with the Start Smart Childcare Centre daycare, shared the building on Dewdney Trunk Road at 226th Street after a flash flood poured water into the premises. Parts of the walls have to be replaced, along with furniture and equipment.

Start Smart, meanwhile, is operating out of two locations, the Haney Presbyterian Church and the Greg Moore Youth Centre.

“Both places have been so accommodating to us, now we are just waiting for insurance to figure their stuff out,” said Sanya Boater, with Start Smart.

So far, repairs on the flooded building haven’t started, with only the soggy carpet having been removed.

However, the daycare didn’t have enough space in those two locations for all families, so some have had to find different arrangements.

Matthewson said it’s not certain yet when will repairs will be done. In the meantime, the society is fundraising to help with costs of replacing furniture and equipment.

She said the damage from the flood is likely worse than initially thought.

“Water is such a hard thing to ascertain how much damage it’s going to do.”

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