Just over two months ago plans to extend and refurbish the Rylstone Kandos Preschool had stalled, but the wheels are back in motion again - much to the delight of the community, committee and staff that raised $80,000 for the cause.
The project will; increase the learning space to two rooms; add a larger foyer; give space for visiting therapists and specialists, as well as a meeting room; and separate staff room and storage area - because currently they are one in the same.
Mid-Western Regional Council, who own the building, sought tenders to construct the design provided to them - which has already been developed. However, all received were outside of the budget allocated and additional quotes obtained were also over.
By the time the project was before Council at their May meeting it was starting to look like it was back to square-one. However, at their at their extraordinary meeting in late July, they voted unanimously to increase the 2019/20 budget allocation by $50,000 and to manage the project internally.
What was noted during the intervening months was the sheer amount of input that had come from the community. They raised $80,000 through; a Jolly Joker every Friday night at the Globe Hotel (shared with the primary schools); pie drives; raffles of trailers of firewood donated by parents; plus donations from Rotary and the Kandos Community Charity Shop.
"The community definitely see the need for it and they see this as a win," committee president, Kat McDonald, said.
When speaking for the motion, Cr Peter Shelley praised their efforts.
"The Rylstone-Kandos community, with the support of the Preschool and the committee, I congratulate them for the excellent fundraising they've done and for the support of our early education," he said. "I've never heard of any other organisation fundraising $80,000 for a Council owned asset.
"Not including $100,000 from our honourable member Paul Toole, which were wouldn't have got if not for the committee. You should be congratulated."
The project - about five years in the making - will enable the Preschool to increase enrolments, which are increasing and are already at capacity. This has been added to by the implementation of the Start Strong program which is to ensure all children can have access to 600 hours of preschool education before entering school.
But above all the extra space will provide a better learning environment for the children - less crowded, lower noise levels, and in smaller groups.
"It will give us the ability to continue to provide quality education, because at the moment that space and the amount of children in it really impacts on getting quality education to the kids," Kat said. "Zero to 5-years-old is where they develop foundational skills. And when you look at it in an early intervention sense, if a three-year-old walks in here who's barely verbal then we can link them with a speech pathologist if we have the space."