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Waste not, want not

Hamlet trying to save old gym

Chris Puglia
Northern News Services

Whale Cove (July 30/03) - With a severe shortage of infrastructure in Northern communities the Hamlet of Whale Cove is trying not to let one go to waste.

This summer construction is set to begin on an addition to Inuglak School once materials arrive on the sea-lift later this month.

The addition will include new classrooms and a gymnasium.

That leaves the question of what to do with the school's current gymnasium, which is also used as a community centre.

"The Department of Education has recommended to tear it down because it's too big to move," said Imelda Angootealuk, hamlet SAO.

However, she said that isn't an acceptable option.

"We need it," she said. "We want to take it and salvage it.

"We don't have a lot of infrastructure here."

The hamlet wants to keep using the old gymnasium as a communitycentre. Angootealuk said it just doesn't make sense to let the building go to waste.

"It's hard enough for the government to give us money for a new building," she said.

Lorne Levy, manager of capital planning with the department of education, said saving the building wouldn't be cost-effective.

The department had engineers look at the feasibility of salvaging the building or incorporating it into the new design.

"We realized very early that we would need to tear down the hall," said Levy.

However, thanks to work with Community Government and Transportation, the new gym will be larger and include bleachers.

Levy said that will not only enhance the current facility, but allow the hamlet to use it for community functions.

The budget for the project is approximately $4 million, but Levy expects that figure will have to be supplemented.

Aside from the school project the hamlet is also expecting materials to begin the construction of a new RCMP detachment this summer.

Angootealuk said the old detachment needs replacing because the RCMP have outgrown it.

The hamlet is also looking forward to finishing its solid waste project.

A fence will be erected around the dump sites and refuse from the old dump site will be moved to Whale Cove's new dump.

Angootealuk said this has been one of those years in the hamlet where there is a lot going on.

"There's some years that there is a lot happening and times that it's very quiet," she said.