Construction of new school in Sheshegwaning First Nation to be complete for 2024 school year

SHESHEGWANING—Elementary school students in both Sheshegwaning and Zhiibaahaasing First Nations will be able to attend a brand-new school in September 2024.

“This will be beneficial for Sheshegwaning First Nation as the community continues to grow, along with the support from our neighbouring community, Zhiibaahaasing First Nation, which also benefits from the new elementary school,” Alana Endanawas, chief of the Sheshegwaning First Nation told The Expositor last Friday. “The future for our children is looking fantastic, we are overwhelmed with excitement about this project. Even our surrounding townships may also take advantage of our new school if they choose to.” 

“The request for proposals (RFP) to engage an architect to complete the design of the new Samson Edowishkosh elementary school project in Sheshegwaning First Nation will be closing (this week),”

Matt Douglas of FHR Inc. (the project manager for the school project) told The Expositor after a community meeting January 31,  “The RFP tenders close on February 11 and, barring any extensions or circumstances, a committee will be formed to review the proposals.”

Chief Endanawas explained that once an architectural firm is chosen work will start in March and be complete by March 2023. The tender for construction will take place in March 2022, with construction to commence in April/May of 2023 and is slated to be complete by the end of August, with the school to open for students in September 2024.

“The school feasibility study was completed in 2020 for Sheshegwaning First Nation,” Chief Endanawas explained. “The recommended construction site will be behind the existing St. Joseph’s School. In September 2021, Indigenous Services Canada approved the design of the new school. We then sent out a request for proposal for a professional project manager in October 2021. FHR Inc. was engaged as professional project manager in November 2021.

As was previously reported, the number of children in Sheshegwaning has outgrown the existing school.

The new school, as outlined, will have five full-sized classrooms with one allocated for the Kindergarten class and a resource lab that will be available for community use and a designated space for teachers to work, meet and prepare programs. It was also reported previously, the new school will have an appropriate educational environment for the community, so there is not only the resource lab available, but there will be a central gathering space to conduct traditional community teachings and ceremonies.

The new facility will also have a small-scale gymnasium to support physical education activities, a lunchroom and cafeteria.