Fisher River Cree Nation will soon be home to three crucial community buildings, after Chief and council broke ground on a new high school May 24.
The projects, a $25 million school, $4.3 million community centre and more than $2 million for a Child and Family Services centre will inject millions of dollars into the local economy Chief David Crate said.
“We are roughly estimating right now ,that over $7 million will come to the community through construction jobs and supply jobs for materials,” he said.
“That’s been our focus for these projects, we want to try and capture as much (revenue) for our local economy as possible.”
Crate explained the projects are essential upgrades to existing facilities. The high school, partly funded by the federal government ($10 million) and the community itself ($15 million) has been in development for a number of years.
“One thing’s for certain, the school is something that has been needed for years to accommodate our growing student population,” Crate said. “It is just important for us to improve the education system for the kids, they will have a brand new facility, they will have everything that they require to enhance their lives through education.”
The new school is scheduled to open in September 2018.
“It’s a fairly aggressive construction schedule. They have started clearing the site and the foundation work will start within a few days,” Crate said.
As for the new community centre, Crate said the community has never had a dedicated space for it.
“We retrofitted an old sewing factory that closed around 1985 and that became our community centre, so it’s an old facility that wasn’t designed for that,” he said.
“Now, with a new centre, we will have an opportunity to host regional gatherings such as the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. We are funding this project through our own source revenue.”
Construction on the community centre will begin soon with completion expected in December.
The CFS centre was slated to open in November, but Crate said construction is seven weeks ahead of schedule, so it will likely be opened in early fall.
A portion of both the CFS and school will be done through modular (off-site) construction, which will speed up completion.