Future location of La Loche elementary school announced

Screen capture from Ducharme Elementary School livestream. Premier Scott Moe speaks in front of students and dignitaries during the announcement in La Loche.

Premier Scott Moe and Education Minister Dustin Duncan joined with representatives from the Northern Lights School Division and the village of La Loche on Monday to announce the future location of a replacement for Ducharme Elementary School.

“We are pleased to have a site selected for this new school and are looking forward to the next step of this project,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said in a press release.

“This school highlights our government’s commitment to the north. (It) will benefit the community of La Loche by providing them with a modern, safe and inclusive learning environment for students and staff for generations to come.”

The Government of Saskatchewan has invested $24 million for the construction of this replacement school for Ducharme Elementary School. This is part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s capital plan.

“This is a special moment and I hope it’s a special moment for you,” Premier Scott Moe told attendees during the announcement in La Loche.

“This school that we’re in (Ducharme) has served this community well for decades now. We know that this building is not just a school, nor will the new school be just a school. It’s going to be a gathering place for all generations to come together.”

Moe added that it wasn’t a hard decision to commit the funds for the new school. He said planning has been underway for “some time.”

The new building will be located next to the existing Dene High School on the east side once it’s completed. It accommodates approximately 475 students from Prekindergarten to Grade 6.

Construction is projected to begin in summer 2022 once the design and planning phase is completed. The new school is expected to be open for students in September 2024.

“Building a new elementary school in La Loche is a testament to the growth throughout our community and the need for schools that meet the changing educational needs of our young people,” Northern Lights School Division Board of Education Chairperson Morris Cook said. 

“During this time of significant disruption to the lives of our students, this announcement will give hope and stability to our school families and will help us build our communities educational future. This is an occasion definitely worth celebrating!”

According to the Saskatchewan government Since 2007, they have committed approximately $2.1 billion toward school infrastructure projects.

These projects include 57 new or replacement schools, as well as 28 major renovations.