New daycare spaces for Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge

Children's Festival and cake cutting mark start of new project on Katzie reserve

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller helps Ally Leon and Torrie St. Louis cut the cake commemorating new daycare centre.

Katzie First Nation Chief Susan Miller helps Ally Leon and Torrie St. Louis cut the cake commemorating new daycare centre.

It’s now only an empty parking lot.

But by September,  a new building, the Katzie Early Years Centre, should occupy the space, across from the new Katzie Health and Community Centre on the Katzie First Nation reserve in Pitt Meadows.

The new building, funded by Ministry of Children and Family Development, will house Katzie pre-school programs, plus a brand-new daycare that will have 92 spots open to both Katzie kids or anyone off the reserve.

Katzie kids will get priority but the daycare will be for any families in the area who are looking for daycare for infants, toddlers, three-to-five-year-olds and before- and after-school care. The daycare will be managed by the Katzie Cultural Society, on a non-profit basis.

“We’d love for them to come and use our services. We’d love that,” said Chief Susan Miller.

The new building will be pre-fabricated by Tamlin International Homes in Coquitlam, and will have use an innovative, metal grid-work Triodetic foundation.

Instead of digging a hole for a concrete foundation and waiting for pre-load piles of sand to compact the area before building, the foundation will float on the marshy ground.

That will allow it to move and accommodate flooding or any changes in the water table. Such designs are used in the arctic when building on permafrost.

It’s also a fraction of the cost of a concrete foundation.

The building will be two storeys high and about 6,000 sq. feet. A ground-blessing ceremony will take place next week.

A Children’s Festival took place Wednesday marking the start of the new project and featured food, music and face painting.

Band Coun. Peter James Jr. said the band is working on its new land code, allowing it to manage its land, and has recently built four new homes and plans on replacing the Katzie wharf. “Changes are happening.”