Children's Treatment Centre New Site on McNaughton Ave. June 20, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Cowan Blackburn News Chatham-Kent.)

CK To Provide $1.5M Towards New Children’s Treatment Centre

A new Chatham-Kent Children’s Treatment Centre is one step closer to being built now that the municipality has agreed to chip in $1.5-million of the funding.

Councillors voted unanimously Monday night to provide the grant towards building a new centre. The source of the funding for the grant, which will be paid over a five-year period, will be determined during the 2018 budget talks in February.

According to the motion report, the municipality’s contribution covers 5% of the overall project costs. The overall building cost for the new facility is $28.5-million. The ministry will be contributing $22.5-million and the remaining $6-million will come from community and municipal support.

The report states that this $6-million will help cover expenses beyond construction costs. The money will be used to fund $3-million worth of furniture and equipment, as well as a $3-million sustainability fund.

Michael Grail, who is the chair of the Butterfly Building Campaign, delivered a presentation at the meeting to make the request for the grant. He says the centre serves 1 in 9 kids in Chatham-Kent, totaling over 3,000 clients in the municipality.

Though, Grail also points out that over 1,000 children are still on waiting lists. He says the new facility will be larger with more resources to ensure all kids in Chatham-Kent live their best lives.

The new 50,000 sq ft facility will feature enhanced accessibility, reduced wait lists, more therapy space, customized therapy areas for teens and young adults, work pods so teams can work together, a family resource, education and meeting space, community outreach service stations, and more space for specialized clinics and equipment.

The centre, which will be located on McNaughton Ave., plans to break ground for their new facility in November 2018 with a target opening date of February 2020.

Grail says timing is critical to raise the funds for the new centre. He says the ministry needs to see financial backing from the municipality and community so that the project is not ‘knocked out of cue.”

During the discussions, Councillor Derek Robertson voiced his support of the grant and agrees time is of the essence in building the new centre.

Councillor Doug Sulman recognizes the importance of the grant, but says the biggest challenges is finding what “pocket” the money will come from.

Councillor Michael Bondy pointed out that the municipality will be getting the centre’s current building on Lark St., which is worth about $1.5-million. He says the grant may end up costing the municipality a lot less than expected.