Fruitvale will simultaneously celebrate the completion of one major project and the start of another on Friday.
A sod turning will be held for a 31-unit affordable housing complex followed by a ribbon-cutting next door for a newly-completed 37-seat daycare.
The projects are being built in partnership between the Village of Fruitvale, Lower Columbia Affordable Housing Society, BC Housing, and the Columbia Basin Trust.
“We’ve been working towards this for a few years now,” mayor Steve Morissette said.
“These projects are huge for Fruitvale. We’re really excited to fill a big need in the area. We, like everyone else, are struggling for affordable housing and daycare as well. Our daycare operator already has 100 applicants for the 37 seats. So it’s badly, badly needed.”
Morissette said the daycare is “99 per cent complete” but is still being set up for kids. It’s expected to open around the beginning of January.
The three-storey housing project, meanwhile, is expected to open in mid-2025 and will serve what Morissette called “a full spectrum of tenants” including families, seniors, and people with disabilities.
The projects are going up adjacent to the former Beaver Valley Middle School, which the village acquired several years ago.
“These two projects involve the biggest investment in Fruitvale by the province since that derelict middle school was built in 1969,” Morissette said.
While the village originally planned to demolish the school, they haven’t been able to secure grants for that purpose, so now they plan to repurpose it for housing.
Friday’s ceremony is from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Invited dignitaries include MLA Katrine Conroy and Columbia Basin Trust CEO Johnny Strilaeff, among others.