Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad
Fiord welcomes new projects

Hamlet gets school addition, water tank

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

Grise Fiord (Jan 07/02) - The northernmost Nunavummiut are celebrating two essential additions to their community.

One will bring better education, the other will guarantee clean water.

In the first case, a long-awaited Umimmak school addition went on display for local residents last month.

Hamlet employee Marty Kuluguqtuq said most of the community turned out for tours of the school's four new rooms.

"The plan was to open it up for the general public. Most, if not all of the people came from town," said Kuluguqtuq.

Students performed skits and songs during the grand opening celebration.

The expansion included the construction of a resource centre and computer area, a shop or industrial arts centre, a science lab and a storage area.

The acting deputy minister of education, Ian Rose, said the expansion cost $1.8 million.

School principal Dennis Bogle said the expansion means there will be plenty of room for all 64 students.

"It's incredible. It's well done, it's bright and spacious and gives us lots of room," said Bogle.

Meanwhile, a new water tank is almost ready to be filled.

Kuluguqtuq said the High Arctic community's third water tank and the pad it sits upon were now completed.

He said officials are allowing the new structure to settle and planned to test it for leaks and clean it out some time in the spring.

The tank, built by Rankin Inlet's Kudlik Construction, will be put to work later this year. It means residents will no longer have to fear running out of water during spring.

Located on Ellesmere Island's polar ice cap, Grise Fiord cannot use a water lake. Instead, residents rely on tanks that hold a combined five million litres of water.

Filled by run-off water in July, the existing tanks are no longer able to meet the increased water demands of the hamlet.

Government officials refused to release the costs of the tank project, referring all inquiries to the minister, Manitok Thompson, who was unavailable last week.