SAULT STE. MARIE -- Just two years after opening a new $2 million early learning centre, Sault College has decided to close the centre's doors for good.

“Over the last months we made a very difficult decision,” said Janice Beatty, vice-president of Student Services at Sault College. “It was just no longer finically feasible for us to continue.”

Beatty said the centre was losing the college roughly $500,000 each year. With new safety guidelines in place and day cares only being allowed to accept 50 per cent of their capacity, the cost of staying open was going to be too expensive.

“COVID-19 was the straw that broke the camel's back,” said Beatty.

Before the pandemic, 80 children attended the on campus day care. Some were the children of students at the school.

A total of 12 people work at the early learning centre.

Beatty said the college is in talks with the union to hopefully avoid layoffs.