Classes start at new Wabasca school

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The eagerly-awaited sound of students engaging in academic and extracurricular activities at the new Mistassiniy School in Wabasca is a reality!

Northland School Division (NSD) has reached a pivotal stage in the construction of the new state-of-the-art learning facility.

The transfer of items from the old Mistassiniy School has begun, paving the way for the school’s opening.

The first day for students and staff in the new Mistassiniy School was set for Thursday, February 1.

“This marks a significant chapter in NSD’s history,” said Robin Guild, board chair. “The school division began this journey back in the early 2000s, when we identified a new state-of-the-art facility for Wabasca-Desmarais students as a priority. Although construction is ongoing in and around the facility, we’re excited that the new Mistassiniy School is ready for learning.”

The Government of Alberta approved construction of a new Mistassiniy School in its 2020 Budget with an investment of more than $31.4 million. While substantial completion has been achieved and the facility is ready for students to move in, minor finishing work will be ongoing. This includes completing touch-ups to millwork, lockers, doors and paint. Minimal disruption to students’ learning experience is expected.

“I am very pleased we are able to celebrate a new learning environment for Northland students,” said Cal Johnson, Acting Superintendent of Schools/CEO. “The new Mistassiniy School captures meaningful feedback we received from students, parents, guardians and community members, through a variety of methods; surveys, Zoom meetings, in person meetings, etc. With the feedback we received, the new school design celebrates 21st century learning, community spirit and traditional language and culture.”

The new Mistassiniy School features an array of facilities, including a culinary arts kitchen, stations for mechanics and carpentry, and other Career and Technology Studies courses. Its design features a circular front entrance and a gymnasium with bleachers, welcoming community spectators.

Following the opening of the new school, the old school is scheduled for demolition in summer 2024.

This will be followed by improvements to the outdoor areas. During these changes, access and parking will be temporarily rerouted.

NSD is in the process of finalizing a date for the grand opening celebration of the new Mistassiniy School. An official announcement will be made as soon as the date is confirmed.

Classes started at the new Mistassiniy School in Wabasca on February 1, 2024.
Photo courtesy of Northland School Division

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