Construction of the prefab housing units at the Laura Linzey Daycare Center is going according to schedule. The prefab housing, which will serve as a temporary provision until the new permanent location for childcare is constructed in The Bottom, is scheduled to be ready this summer.
The 18 prefab units are being placed in an L-shape and will include three large classrooms, two kitchenettes, staff and children’s bathrooms, and office space for management. The 20-foot prefab units are fully equipped and hurricane resistant. The units are being installed by the contractor, Work Monster, in the backyard of the current daycare location at the former Governor’s House in The Bottom.
There will be room for all daycare children, including the pre-school group now housed elsewhere, in the new, spacious prefab units. Once the prefab units are ready for use this summer, the pre-school group will be reunited with the other daycare children and the current location of the pre-school group in the rectory of the Anglican Church in The Bottom will be closed. Only the babies, the administration office space, staff room, staff training room, storage, and covered porch (eating area) will remain in the former Governor’s House. The outside porch will be reopened and the temporary classrooms that are now on the location of the porch will be removed. This will create more space.
The prefab units are large, providing room for growth, which means that the number of children can increase. With the installation of the prefab units, the daycare housing will meet all requirements of the Basic Island Ordinance Childcare Saba. “It will provide the quality that we need. We are very content with the openness, light, and space that the new temporary housing will offer,” said Laura Linzey Daycare Center Manager Tessa Alexander. She said this would be a very adequate temporary housing until the new building is constructed in The Bottom. The project, which is funded by the BES(t) 4 Kids program, will include a new playground for younger and older children.
A short groundbreaking ceremony was held on Monday, May 9 in the presence of Dutch Minister of Poverty Policy, Participation and Pensions Carola Schouten and Commissioner of Social Affairs Rolando Wilson. Minister Schouten said she was very impressed by the professionalism of daycare on Saba and the commitment of the daycare employees.
“Many families make full-time use of daycare. Daycare truly provided children with a warm home. That is very valuable for the children, but also for the parents who because of this care have the possibility to work. I wholeheartedly support the further professionalizing of childcare, but compliments for the hard work that is already being done are very merited,” said Minister Schouten in an invited comment.
Commissioner Wilson specifically thanked the BES(t) 4 Kids program for funding this project and complimented daycare management, project coordinator Esther van Woudenberg, the Planning Bureau, and Work Monster for their work.