Today the City officially opened the new Huron Early Learning Centre at 24 Capilano Drive, near Merivale Road. The building is currently undergoing evaluation for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver designation.
The centre will also focus on environmentally sustainable programs in the curriculum for the children. "The City is committed to building better and more sustainable communities," said Mayor Larry O'Brien. "This facility will be the first LEED Silver child care centre in Ottawa, and one of the first in Canada."
Green features of the new building include: Radiant floor heating Low VOC-emitting (Volatile Organic Compounds) surface materials and finishes Solar passive heating Steel roof to improve heating and air conditioning requirements Cisterns to store rain water for irrigating flower gardens. Advanced, onsite storm water management Photovoltaic system, with sale of any energy generated back to the power grid Playground will use stabilized stone dust in place of traditional petroleum asphalt surfaces. Play structures will be made of wood Butterfly and wildflower meadow to enhance the local environment.
"The facility incorporates three public art pieces designed specifically for this centre that will stimulate the imaginations of the children," said Councillor Diane Deans, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. "The entrance mosaic, interior mural and covered bridge create an artistic continuity from interior to exterior that underlines the importance of ecological awareness."
Programs at the centre will emphasize the environment as part of the children's activities, including: Providing nutritious meals and snacks that have been locally sourced Promoting healthy living habits of reduce, reuse and recycle. Teaching composting, gardening, water conservation, harvesting and eating what they've grown. Promoting the use of cloth or bio-degradable diapers Utilizing toys and furnishings made of natural materials such as wood, wicker and bamboo Using bio-friendly cleaning and laundry supplies.
"This new centre replaces the one previously located in the basement of the Huron Towers," said Knoxdale-Merivale Ward Councillor, Gord Hunter. "This centre will meet the needs of many parents in the area by offering space for 47 children. The majority of those spaces will go to families living at or below the poverty level and struggling to make ends meet."
-reprinted from the Ottawa Start