Daycare facility moving to field house
Okotoks: Playtopia evicted from space, temporarily relocating to Aldersyde
Monday, Mar 20, 2017 09:43 am
A local childcare facility is being forced to take up temporary residence at the regional field house after being forced out of its long-time home in Okotoks.
Crystal Taylor, owner of Playtopia in Okotoks, said the indoor playground and daycare has been evicted from its current location on Crystal Ridge Drive, where it has been for 13 years. She is fighting the eviction, but she declined to discuss details because the matter is in front of the courts.
In the meantime, the Crescent Point Regional Field House will become home to the daycare until Taylor is able to move into a permanent location in Okotoks. It will take about three months to have a new location approved by town council and brought up to code.
“There’s nowhere else zoned for it, or that was zoned for it that I could get into quick enough,” said Taylor. “It was very sudden.”
Spending three months out of town will be costly for the business. Playtopia includes before and after school care and drives about 45 of the 70 children to and from different Okotoks schools.
“The gas alone is going to be more expensive for sure,” said Taylor.
She said the field house has been a godsend, and staff have worked hard to help her fit into the space. The biggest issue with moving right now is that she has to reapply for all of her licencing and have fire and health and safety inspections all over again, she said.
It’s also adding an inconvenience for parents who reside in Okotoks and will have to add 10 minutes on both ends of their commutes to take their children out of town for daycare, she said.
“They’ve all been very loyal and want to stay with us, which is an amazing feeling, but this is a big inconvenience asking this of them,” said Taylor.
As far as the kids are concerned, it’s going to be an incredible adventure, she said. They’re thrilled to have the opportunity to hit the fields and courts and have even more room to run.
The agreement with the field house includes the use of all the facility resources as long as they’re not being used by another group.
“We’re already a pretty active centre because they have the indoor playground, but they’re going to be even more active,” said Taylor. “They’re pretty excited to get to learn all these new sports and get to play them every day after school.”
It’s also good news for the field house.
Daytime is usually a difficult time slot to fill, when most people are at work or school, said MD of Foothills community services director Ryan Payne.
“There’s the extra space we’ve got in the daytime with some of the multi-purpose rooms and fields that aren’t being used by other programs at this point in time,” he said. “It’s a pretty good fit.”
Payne said it will be a good revenue generator during typically quiet hours, and it’s unfortunate the move will be temporary. Rental fees will help cover more of the operating budget, he said.
It could also be a good way to introduce more people to the field house and everything it has to offer, said Payne.
“I think it will be great exposure for families who maybe haven’t been to the field house yet, may not know it’s there, may not know what services are offered there,” said Payne. “It will be great to provide people with that bit of insight.”