Sheshegwaning school construction slated for next May

SHESHEGWANING—Construction of the new Samson Edowishkosh Elementary School in Sheshegwaning is slated to begin in May 2023.

“We are currently in the community engagement session,” stated Sheshegwaning Chief Alana Endanawas after members of the community had the opportunity to meet with the architects for the project, Sudbury-based Tillman Ruth Robinson Inc. (associated with Perry and Perry Architects) on May 10.

“The first engagement session went really well with community discussions and different group exercises,” said Chief Endanawas. She explained the engagement session was held for members of the community and the neighbouring Zhiibaahaasing First Nation to get input.

“The architects will be completing the final drawings, then we will tender out for construction bids,” said Chief Endanawas. “According to the schedule, a final report should be ready for approval in August (2022).”

“There was a good turnout of community members at the meeting,” continued Chief Endanawas.

A school feasibility study was completed in 2020 for Sheshegwaning First Nation. 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. A request for proposal for a professional project was put out in October 2021. FHR Inc. was engaged as the professional project manager in November 2021.

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

“The new school will have four full-size classrooms for Grades 1-8,” said Chief Endanawas.

One classroom will be allocated for the Kindergarten class and a resource lab that will be available for community use and designated space for teachers to work, meet and prepare programs.

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

Chief Endanawas explained the tendering, bidding and negotiations for construction will take place in March 2023. The construction phase is anticipated to begin May 2023, with post construction to take place in September 2024.