Iskut First Nation is seeking bids for a new school building to replace the existing structure of the Klappan Independent School in the Village of Iskut, off highway 37 N.
The estimated $17 million building will be built after clearing space near the playground. Currently the school accommodates K-9 grades and the new school will include an additional grade (10), said Iskut band council chief, Marie Quock. The original cost of the project went up $2million more from the $15 million estimated pre-pandemic.
The new school building will spread across 1,463 square metres to accommodate 60 students and will be financed by federal funds from Indigenous Services Canada. Currently, the school enrolls around 40 students.
In addition, Iskut band will be shelling out $750,000 which will cover the expenses of a full-sized gym.
The old building will be demolished once the new school is constructed to avoid any disruption for its students, said Quock.
The project is expected to be completed in the next couple of years, said Quock.
“We have a short construction season every year from April to October,” she said. “The foundation of the building can be built by next year.”
Iskut will also be looking for additional teachers, said Quock.
“If we go up to Grade 9 we’re going to need more teachers.”
The school currently has one principal and three teachers and students usually end up going to Dease Lake for higher education.
Closing date for the tender has been extended from May 31 to June 14.