Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavik June 13, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Quebec gives green light to new Nunavik high school

$36 million secondary school will be built in Inukjuak

SARAH ROGERS
Inukjuak’s Innalik school is currently home to more than 500 elementary and secondary students. The Quebec government just approved funding to build a secondary school in the Nunavik community of 1,800. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
Inukjuak’s Innalik school is currently home to more than 500 elementary and secondary students. The Quebec government just approved funding to build a secondary school in the Nunavik community of 1,800. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

Quebec education officials have given the green light to Nunavik’s school board to build a secondary school in Inukjuak.

Kativik Ilisarniliriniq officials have been advocating for the new school for many years. Inukjuak, a community of about 1,800 along Nunavik’s Hudson Bay coast, currently has one school, Innalik, to house more than 500 elementary and secondary-level students.

Quebec’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education will fund the construction of the new school for a total of $36,856,234.

“The approval of the school construction project is the result of sustained advocacy efforts from the school board,” Alacie Nalukturuk, the school board’s vice president and commissioner for Inukjuak, said in a news release on Tuesday, June 12.

“The school board will involve the community in the next steps, namely the design of the school; the site for the new school was selected by the Northern Village of Inukjuak and the school board three years ago.”

The council of commissioners has already selected the architectural firm MLS et associés to design the new school, while SNC-Lavalin will do the engineering. Kativik Ilisarniliriniq officials will host a community meeting at Innalik school this week—on Thursday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m.—for community members to share their ideas for the new facility.

The school board has yet to say when the new school could open, but construction is set to begin within the next year. This will be the fourth secondary school in the region: Kuujjuaq, Puvirnituq and Salluit already have high schools.

At the same time, Quebec’s Education Ministry also approved funding for six school board staff housing units in neighbouring Puvirnituq that will be built this summer.

Since 2014, the school board said it has submitted 13 infrastructure projects to the provincial government for funding—only three of which have been approved.

One of the projects includes a 2017 request to relocate the school board’s Montreal offices to Nunavik, for which approval remains pending.

Both the communities of Kuujjuaq and Kuujjuaraapik have expressed interest in hosting those offices. Under the plan, the school board’s departments of human resources and finance would move to Kuujjuaraapik, while Kuujjuaq would host general administration. Certain departments would remain in Montreal, like post-secondary student services, transportation and the school board’s printing services.

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