Albion Community Centre cost could hit $18 million. (THE NEWS/files)

Maple Ridge looks at more grant dollars for Albion Community Centre

Could qualify for $1 million for child care space

Maple Ridge is looking for a million-dollar boost to help pare down the cost of the new Albion Community Centre.

Staff are seeking city council’s approval at its Jan. 14 meeting to apply to the provincial government’s Community Child Care Space Creation Program for a $1-million grant.

The intent of that program is to help cities pay for the costs of creating daycare space in their facilities. Maple Ridge staff say the city’s application is strong because of the co-location of child-care facilities at the location.

Maple Ridge is building the centre on 104th Avenue on the same site as the province is building the new $25-million C’usqunela elementary which opens next September.

Costs for the Albion Community Centre have jumped from an initial $10 million when early, rough designs were considered, to a possible $18 million.

The city is also trying also seeking other grants and is delaying the start of the major part of construction by 10 months, so it is eligible for federal/provincial grant Community, Culture and Recreation Program, that could yield another $5 million in grant money.

Under the latter program, the city could apply for up to 73 per cent of the cost of a project, but is more likely to get a smaller amount, such as between $3 million and $5 million, although nothing is definite.

Once complete, the city will lease the space to a daycare provider and receive up to $30,000 a year from leasing revenues.

Maple Ridge could also reduce costs by another $1 million if it receives a federal Enabling Accessibility Fund grant of that amount, given to projects that improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

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