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Former public school becomes community hub

'Every community needs a place for families to gather, and for children to grow and to learn'
Sod Turning in Whitney Oct 9 2018
South Algonquin Township Mayor, Jane Dumas (L), Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski (C) and DNSSAB CAO Joseph Bradbury (R) are joined by children from the Kids Kastle at a sod turning ceremony at the former Whitney Public School. Submitted.

The District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board (DNSSAB) attended the official sod-turning ceremony held at the site of the former Whitney Public School in South Algonquin Township on October 9th, marking the beginning of construction for the new South Algonquin Community Hub.

The vacant 4,000 sq. ft. Whitney Public School was purchased with a vision to create a centralized hub for families and children.  Site plans include an EarlyON and Child Care Centre, as well as other space for community partners including the District of Nipissing Employment Resource Centre.  Space is designed to be inclusive to the community and will have space for a community garden and a community access washroom for groups using the hub.  An EarlyON drop-in centre for children as well as child care promotes connections of parents and children living in this community, says a news release.

This community hub is expected to put the community children at the centre of the town and creates a positive environment to grow. 

“Every community needs a place for families to gather, and for children to grow and to learn,” said John Yakabuski, MPP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. “The new South Algonquin Community Hub will provide vital services and a space for the people of the Township to connect with one another.”

 “We are thrilled to have this project in our community,” says South Algonquin Mayor, Jane Dumas.  “The refurbishment of the former Whitney Public School into a quality child care centre in our rural setting is exciting.  Establishing the Early Years Program in our community will further support our families.  Having our Resource Center move to this location enhances this as a community hub.  On behalf of the residents of South Algonquin, I would like to thank the Board and Staff of the DNSSAB for bringing this project to fruition.”   

“We feel it’s important that all areas of the District of Nipissing receive the services provided by the District of Nipissing,” says DNSSAB Chair, Mark King. “We are very pleased that the opportunity to provide an EarlyON Child and Family Centre and licensed child care centre in South Algonquin came to life in a way that offers even more benefit to citizens while bringing new purpose to a surplus school.”