There is a place in Maple Creek where the sun is guaranteed to shine, stars glow brilliantly in a clear sky, and blue and grey mountains form an uplifting backdrop.
It wasn’t always this way. A few months ago, the place was green. Very green. Almost oppressively so.
The transformation of Jack & Jill Co-operative Nursery School upstairs at the Armouries follows more than 100 hours of intensive cleaning, painting and rearranging. Not bad for a small volunteer committee.
Anyone familiar with the previous look of the school will immediately notice the difference. Enter and you will be greeted by bright colours.
There is a mountain theme. Not only with the captivating landscape on the walls, but also with the inspirational saying that catches the eye as you come in: “Kids, you’ll move mountains.”
What do the children think of their new-look nursery?
“They are very, very happy,” said Bobbi Jo Blythman, vice-president. “They love it. We do it for the kids.”
At the March 9 Town Council meeting, Councillor Al Fournier said he had visited the nursery and was impressed by the committee’s refurbishment efforts.
“They’ve done a really nice job with the painting,” he said.
As with so many other enterprises in Maple Creek, Jack & Jill has experienced a turbulent 12 months.
When COVID-19 struck, the nursery shut down as The Armouries became a testing site. It then moved to the Maple Plumbing & Heating building, where it could hold fall classes in 2020.
Thanks to donations from five organizations and companies – the Chamber of Commerce, Schafer Electric, Abbott Realty, Sask. Lotteries and Maple Plumbing & Heating – it was able to afford the rent. The Jack & Jill board received yet more help for the makeover of its Armouries home, which began in December.
The Town of Maple Creek paid for paint and supplies, while Lynn Needham and Cara Teichroeb also donated paint.
“We are very grateful for all the support,” said Lacey Fryer, president.
Painting continued through January until, finally, on Tuesday, February 2 Jack & Jill was able to move back into The Armouries.
“It is now business as usual and we are very happy,” said Cheryl Currah, fundraiser.
Also very happy is her son, Colsen, who is back in his favourite playing area.
• Registration for fall classes is now under way. Contact registrar Nikki Weiss, Jack & Jill Co-operative Nursery School Facebook page, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.