Oct 4, 2018
Posted in: La Loche
By Tracy LaPrise
On June 20th and 21st, 2018, Gabriel Dumont Institute celebrated the official opening of our $1.6 million expansion of the La Loche programming building. The one time RCMP detachment had become too small to accommodate the growing demand for the Institute’s programs and services in La Loche. The Institute received $880,000 in federal funding or the project through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
In July 2017, the new project to the La Loche building was underway. This included renovating the existing classroom space into a skills training shop with a higher ceiling and bigger space. The size of the computer lab was doubled and new built in desks and updated technology added. There are two new classrooms, each able to seat 20 students, with Smartboards and updated furniture.
Also added is a Community Room which can also serve as a boardroom or a classroom space. The Community Room has a beautiful table with a Métis sash embedded into the tabletop. Beyond the new paint and new additions, the furnace, security system and fire alarm systems have all been updated and the addition of a new air conditioning system.
The renovations were completed in January 2018 and students and staff moved back into the building in February. On June 20th, we hosted a Community BBQ with staff cooking the hamburgers and hotdogs and providing tours to the local community members. Many impressed people enjoyed the tour and tasting treat and were so happy to see such a great investment into their community.
On June 21st, we had the official Grand Opening of the building with community members, dignitaries and guests including Métis National Council President Clément Chartier, Métis Nation–Saskatchewan President Glen McCallum, La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre, Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education Hon. Tina Beaudry-Mellor, and Hon. Warren Kaeding, the Minister responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs. Members of the Gabriel Dumont Institute Board of Governors, including the Chair, Dr. Earl Cook, were also present.
The event also provided income for community members. Local cooks made tasty stew and bannock with delicious cake for dessert. Photography, security, and taxi services were also sourced locally. It was a wonderful two days celebrating the opening of a great new building in La Loche!