A larger elementary school for students from the Nation Anishnabe de Lac Simon
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of children aged 5 to 9 in the community of Nation Anishnabe de Lac Simon increased from 150 to 269 and the community's school had to grow to keep up.
"In 2018-2019, nearly 80 new students are attending the primary school. This trend is going to continue for at least the next decade," Adrienne Jérôme, Chief of the community, said earlier this year.
The community of slightly over 1,700 people is located 30 kilometres southeast of Val d'Or in Quebec's Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. It has a high growth rate, and in order to continue to provide quality education services to students in the community, Amikobi Primary School needed to be expanded.
The Lac Simon band council worked with Indigenous Services Canada to add 16 additional classroom spaces, a cafeteria and a new gymnasium to the existing school. A secure reception area was also built and the school's façade was renovated. In total, an area of 2,133 m2 was added and 700 m2 of the existing building was renovated in order to create modern, stimulating and learning-friendly environments.
"The expansion was essential to enhance the quality of our educational services. However, infrastructure is not an end in itself," Jérôme explained. "Basically, this project is a way to help children look to the future to become agents of change."
The expansion of the Amikobi School gives the community the space to accommodate the many students who will start school in the coming years.
This project is an example of the department's commitment to supporting the delivery of high quality education services.