IT WAS a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the Alstonville Community Preschool yesterday when the concrete slab was poured following a five-year battle for survival.

President Katherine Buckley said the pre school was forced to find a new home when Alstonville Baptist Fellowship decided not to continue running the pre school after 2013.

Mrs Buckley said when she heard the news about the closure she got involved with the committee that had been working for two years.

"The committee worked with council to start finding a site and then council started the process of recategorising the land," she said.

"That was when I came into it.

"So for most of five years we have known it's been going to happen, and we've had a site, and now were here."

In mid to late 2013, Mrs Buckley said hope of securing funding for the pre school was waning.

"We didn't have any capital funding and we didn't have a temporary site and we knew that the Baptist pre school was closing," she said.

"It really felt like we were going around and around in circles and not actually getting anywhere.

"It was so late in the day in 2013 when we got wind of the fact that we had some capital funding and we managed to find a temporary site, but it all came at the last minute."

BUILDING BEGINS: Builder Dave Gambley and tradesmen pouring the slab for Alstonville Community Preschool yesterday.
BUILDING BEGINS: Builder Dave Gambley and tradesmen pouring the slab for Alstonville Community Preschool yesterday. Rodney Stevens

 

Standing at the site yesterday morning as the first kilos of wet concrete were poured was a very satisfying moment.

"This is incredible to see it all coming to fruition," Mrs Buckley said.

"$670,000 raised by the community which is part fundraising dollars and part grants is a formidable achievement really for a small community."

McLeans Ridges builder Dave Gambley will finish construction before Christmas, in time for the pre school to open in February.

"Dave has been with us right from the very beginning of the project, from the initial grant application that went into the Department of Education in 2011," Mrs Buckley said.

"One of big focuses is that we are keeping it all local, this is a community project and all of our contractors will be local because that helps."



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