Parents, children, friends and Councillors gathered at the Wondai Kindergarten on Thursday afternoon to officially open the Kindy’s new renovations.
The community kindergarten, which has been operating from its Baynes Street address for more than half a century, received a $139,000 grant from the State Government in April 2013 to renovate its ageing premises.
Renovation work began in July the same year, and the project was finally concluded in late 2014..
The South Burnett Regional Council also contributed by providing the Kindy with a community grant to upgrade the building’s plumbing and install UV filters and a water pump.
The Council also waived building application fees on the renovation works, in line with its standard policy of not charging not-for-profit community groups for building and construction projects.
On Thursday afternoon, the Kindy’s committee invited the parents of their current enrolments, as well as parents who’d formerly had their children at the kindy, to attend the official opening of the stylishly modernised premises.
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann, Division 6 councillor Ros Heit and long-serving Kindy patron, former Wondai Shire councillor Gil Smith, were also invited along as special guests.
The new building is a far cry from its former role as a local judo hall in the 1960s.
In the past 18 months the interior of the main building has been renovated into modern office space along with an indoor playroom, kitchen and toilet facilities.
Outside, the covered concrete porch has been raised almost six inches to provide an all-weather shaded deck.
The secure rear garden now boasts a large undercover sandpit, swings, a cubby house a large grassed play area and gardens.
Outgoing Kindy president Susan Wicks, who welcomed the guests, thanked the State and Federal Governments for providing the initial grant which had made the bulk of the renovations possible.
She also thanked the Council for their contributions and, in particular, for waiving the building fees.
She said this had saved the Kindy “thousands”.
Mayor Kratzmann said he was very impressed with the hard work the Kindy’s committee had put into the project.
He said his own children had attended the Kindy when they were young, so he was well aware just how much work the Kindy’s volunteers put into running the facility.
He also praised the State and Federal Governments for their contribution, saying organisations such as the Kindy helped make the job of government easier.
“As government keeps on growing the cost of maintaining infrastructure grows with it,” he said.
“All levels of government – and especially Council – depend heavily on local volunteers to run many of the facilities in our community, and we’d be lost without you.”
The Mayor then announced he would be using what was left in his Discretionary Fund to give the Kindy a $1000 grant towards their ongoing running costs as a mark of appreciation for the group’s efforts.
After these short speeches, guests were treated to a generous afternoon tea whipped up in the Kindy’s kitchen and on its backyard barbecue.
The Wondai Kindy has 12 children enrolled but still has space for additional children.
Pre-prep children aged 3 to 5 who are enrolled full-time at the Kindy by a parent who is a Health Care Card holder can use the kindy fee-free, and there are other low-cost child care options available, too.
Interested parents can discuss enrolling their child by phoning the Kindy on (07) 4168-5313 between 9:00am and 2:30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays.