Wendy’s House the realization of a dream

The grand opening of Wendy’s House, a children’s play and discovery centre that has been under construction for much of the year, drew a big crowd to the new facility on Tuesday.

Located at 2300 University Way, on the old ball fields beside the Trans-Canada Highway and next to Vancouver Island University it is named in memory of Wendy Erickson, an early learning advocate and coordinator for the school district.

She was always keen to reach out with learning ideas into the community at large and was a stalwart at the Literacy Nights held at the Duncan Mall.

"I am very pleased and honoured to have helped bring Wendy’s dream to a reality," Sheryl Koers, assistant superintendent said in announcing the grand opening. "The centre is amazing thanks to everyone’s help and, I think, everything Wendy would have hoped for."

It was Erickson’s dream to develop a centre in the Cowichan Valley that was modeled after Munchkin Land in Parksville, according to Koers.

"Wendy’s House is built on the premise that play carries out an essential role in

children’s development in that it creates a foundation for formal learning, as this was something that Wendy strongly believed in. Inside the centre you will find a number of play areas for children to exercise both their bodies and their imagination," she said.

The play and discovery centre came together because many community groups partnered with School District 79.

Candace Spilsbury, who has been acting as project community liaison said, "It truly is a community collaboration project, completed by the community, for the community."