Back to school in Kangiqsualujjuaq


MONTREAL — Students in Kangiqsualujjuaq are back in school after a two month break from academic classes.

Two weeks ago, the community’s 223 students returned to school for the first time since an avalanche crashed into the former Satuumavik School on New Year’s Eve, leveling its gym and filling many classrooms with snow.

“They’re happy to be back,” said one teacher. “One month is fine, but after that you start to be bored.”

The new gray-clad school building is described as “simple, but functional”. Its 21 classrooms are all similar in size and set along two long corridors. A temporary school, it was nonetheless built as a lasting structure that will be taken over by new owners when a more permanent school is ready in September, 2000.

As the community received the keys to the new Satuumavik School building, local school administrator Mary Baron thanked everyone who worked so hard on the construction.

The Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec put up the $2.7 million building in a five week period, managing to wrap up work three days ahead of schedule.

“Luckily, no construction days were lost due to severe weather conditions,” said the Kativik School Board’s spokesperson, Debbie Astroff. “The construction team worked in temperatures averaging minus 35 degrees, ten hours a day, seven days a week to complete the work on time.”

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