THE former police station in Irvinestown is to be transformed if plans for a new state of the art nursery at the site are approved.
The cells and interview rooms are to be replaced by playrooms and naptimes if the application from Treetops nursery in the town is given the green light.
The plans involve alterations and an extension to the former PSNI Station to create new nursery and child -care facilities, including an external play area, parking and lowering of the existing boundary wall along with the provision of new railings.
The architects involved in the project are Keys and Monaghan, Main Street, Irvinestown and Alastair Keys outlined some more information about the work, if approved, could be finished within a year.
“It’s a fairly sensible extension to the existing building and refurbishment.
“It will involve a fairly extensive extension to the back and obviously there will be a big reduction in the defensive wall in height.
“For Treetops it is just more space and it’s their own space. It has the potential to be a very nice project; it is a good site, good locality, it is close to the other schools and is walking distance to the rest of the town.”
Geraldine Goodwin, the owner of Treetops, currently located in Irvinestown Business Park said the new build would be a ‘big boost’ to the local community.
“The area we’re in at the minute has lasted us 15 years, but we have had to compromise on a lot of stuff really.
“The new purpose built nursery is designed solely for the children and will have all their requirements catered for, for example there will be a new computer suite.”
At present Treetops has 47 registered children with a waiting list, and employs more than 10 staff.
It is Geraldine’s hope that through the new premises the local community would reap the benefits.
“It is bigger premises and we would hope to offer more employment and services for the community. We would also hope to offer more places.”
She continued: “A year down the line I would like to see us out of here, but I suppose realistically a year and a half probably.
“There are a few nurseries about and a lot of child minders, but I know from our end of it we’re limited to what we can offer the after schools, those older children.
“With the new facilities we will be able to offer them a bigger homework club, a bigger computer suite and the games room.
“It would be all centred more towards their needs.
“There is a lot of work to do don’t get me wrong, but the designs that Alastair has come up with are very modern and I think it will be a big boost; employment wise and the social aspect of it.
“Further down the line we would hope it could be a place where meetings take place and seminars, things like that.”
The project is being funded through savings and by Geraldine’s own admission ‘15 years of hard work’.
The consultation process ended on March 26, 2014 and the project is now awaiting approval to begin building work.
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