Construction of Sioux North High School is right on track. Trustees with the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board held a tour of the brand-new, state-of-the-art facility in Sioux Lookout yesterday, to tour the future school’s halls.
While the school is still well-under construction, trustees frequently commented about the size, significance and importance to the region that the school will soon represent. This is especially true for the KPDSB, as the board has spent nearly a decade planning for the opening of the new high school.
“It’s a new modern facility. We have the ability to offer some programming that we’ve never been able to before. It’s really going to become a hub for the community,” said Wayne Mercer, the current principal of Queen Elizabeth District High School, and the future principal of Sioux North.
The 7,000 square foot building, located next door to Sioux Mountain Public School, will have space for students pursuing further education through Confederation College and Lakehead University, not to mention health services through the Meno-Ya-Win health centre, Firefly and Sick Kids hospital, and a cafeteria through the municipality of Sioux Lookout.
On top of a variety of community agencies, the school will also feature state-of-the-art science facilities, a large stage, sound-proof music rooms, estechian facilities, a 21st century learning commons – otherwise known as a library, art facilities, an emphasis on natural lighting and much more. The board even made room in the building to include a fireplace, part of a calming environment for students.
“Being so close to Sioux Mountain Public School, we have preschool to Grade 8, and then into this building, there’s Grades 9 to 12 into post-secondary, all on the same campus. How great is that. It’s all coming to fruition, and it’s a very exciting time for our board and our educators. The future is looking really bright for the students in Sioux Lookout.”
Mercer added that the logo for the new school, an arrow with three points pointing north on top of a green circular background, was a student’s design and was chosen by their fellow students. Mercer says that the logo represents many things, including the three Treaty areas and communities that the school will serve – represented by the three points of the arrow.
The building has a total price tag of about $30 million, and is the largest infrastructure project in northwestern Ontario. The contract was awarded in August 2016. Superintendent of Business, Richard Findlay, noted that the project is still on-budget.
The school, which will replace Queen Elizabeth District High School, was originally set to open for the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, but the opening date for students has been pushed back until after Christmas break.
Director of Education for the KPDSB, Sean Monteith, has said that the delay was due to a particularly difficult winter season – which pushed back the local and provincial contractors.
Occupancy date will be on November 1, but the KPDSB will use the time from then to past Christmas break to inspect the building for deficiencies, and to move in their old furniture from Queen Elizabeth District High School, as well as brand new furniture.
Students will continue to attend Queen Elizabeth until 2019, and no disruptions for students or staff are expected as a result of the delay.
For more information:
Sioux North delayed
Update on Sioux North