The Government of Saskatchewan announced construction has begun on the new Prekindergarten to Grade 6 elementary school in the village of La Loche in northern Saskatchewan.

The province is investing $30 million in the construction of the school, while the Northern Lights School Division is contributing additional funds to increase the size of the gymnasium so that it can be used by both the school and community.

“Our government is committed to investing in education across our province and especially in the north by providing modern, safe and inclusive learning environments for students to grow and learn,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “This new elementary school will be able to serve not only the students and families of La Loche but also the broader community for generations to come.”

The size of the new school will be 5,548 square metres and will accommodate approximately 475 students from Prekindergarten to Grade 6.

The new school will replace the 49-year-old Ducharme Elementary School with a state-of-the-art facility that features local Indigenous cultural elements. The design was created with input from the community and features a rounded cultural centre that will be used for cultural programming and ceremonies, which incorporates architectural elements that reflect Indigenous culture and the natural beauty of the local land and sky. The new school will have 26 classrooms, a kitchen for student meal programs as well as a feature staircase that can be used for school gatherings.

“The board of trustees is thrilled that the province made the decision to invest in a new elementary school in La Loche, and we are so pleased that the process is moving forward,” Northern Lights School Division Board Chair Richard Petit said. “I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the community at large in advocating for this much needed new educational facility.”

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The new school will be located next to Dene High School in La Loche and construction is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2025. Saskatoon-based Wright Construction Western Inc. is leading the construction of the project.

Featured image: (Government of Saskatchewan)

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