A BRIGHT new childcare centre and a two-storey church has been given the go-ahead in Warrnambool’s northern fringe.
Construction is expected to start on the $3.5 million childcare centre in November to address the city’s shortage of care places for toddlers and infants.
About 270 families are sitting on a waiting list hoping to get a spot at one of Warrnambool City Council’s childcare centres.
But the new North Edge Child Care could potentially halve that number by next year.
Developer Les Speed has gained a two-stage permit for the site at the corner of Wangoom Road and the Hopkins Highway — first for the childcare centre and second to build a new home for the Extreme Life Church.
While both plans share the permit, Mr Speed said the childcare centre would operate independently of the church.
“They’re going to be separate and completely independent of each other,” said Mr Speed, who would jointly operate the childcare centre.
Developers had initially looked to build homes on the land, but a lagging market made Warrnambool City Council’s suggestion of childcare the best option.
The hunt is now on for 18 full and part-time childcare workers to staff the centre.
“We’re hopeful to be open on the first of July,” Mr Speed said.
Building designer Mark Bourke said the childcare centre has been a chance to use colourful ideas.
“It’s a contemporary design. I was hoping to do something different rather than the standard house,” Mr Bourke said.
“There’s four activity rooms and total space in the centre for 103 kids. We’re looking at 18-20 staff at full capacity.”
Meanwhile, the Extreme Life Church is eagerly awaiting financial support to come through for its new spiritual home.
The congregation of more than 200 has been using a cramped building in the Ozone carpark.
“It’s definitely got limitations and there is no office space,” pastor Paul Collinson said.
“It’ll be nice to be in the same space.”
While the permit has been cleared, the church is yet to get financial support for the building but hopes to be in it by 2015.