‘It’ll be another era’: Community turns sod for new school in Sagkeeng after 2012 fire

New Anicinabe Community School is scheduled to be completed by 2020

Youngsters take part in the sod-turning ceremony Tuesday for Anicinabe Community School in Sagkeeng, Fort Alexander. The $19-million building is scheduled for completion in July 2020. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)


Students, parents and officials in Sagkeeng First Nation turned the sod for a new school on Tuesday, six years after the community’s old school was damaged in a fire.

The new Anicinabe Community School will incorporate 21 classrooms for students from nursery to Grade 6, as well as an indoor place space, a library and an elder’s room, said a spokesperson from Verne Reimer Architecture Inc.

It’s set to be completed in 2020, with students coming in for the 2020-2021 school year.

An architect’s rendering of the Anicinabe Community School. (Submitted by Verne Reimer Architecture Inc.)


The school will replace the community’s old Anicinabe Community School, which was damaged by fire in 2012. Since then, 260 young students have been bussing to the nearby junior high school more than half-hour away or studying in portable classrooms, says Sagkeeng Chief Derrick Henderson.

“It’ll take our kids out of the portables,” Henderson said Tuesday. “Our other school right now is being maxed out.”

Residents in the community about 100 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg helped architects create the design, said the spokesperson for Verne Reimer Architecture. Aodbt Architecture + Interior Design also worked on the project.

‘Very, very proud’

The school’s gym is designed to accommodate large community gatherings and includes a kitchen and large stage. It’s expected to be 20 per cent more efficient than required by the Manitoba Energy Code,  the spokesperson added.

Henderson says it was a sad time for the community when the old school burned.

Sagkeeng First Nation Chief Derrick Henderson at the sod turning ceremony Tuesday for Anicinabe Community School in Sagkeeng, Fort Alexander. The $19-million building is scheduled for completion in July 2020. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)


“Lot of memories there for the students and the parents in the communities,” he said.

“But now, with the reconstruction of the whole new school, it’ll be another era … for our community. So I’m very, very proud of that and very happy we can have this.”

Construction can begin right away, Henderson says. The estimated cost of the project is $19 million.

The former Anicinabe Community School in Sagkeeng First Nation, which was damaged by fire in 2012 and hasn’t been used for years, will be replaced in 2020. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)


This article was copied from the CBC Manitoba site at the following link:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/manitoba-sagkeeng-new-school-1.4913995