It's a building that's been 14 years in the making, and now Regina's mâmawêyatitân centre has finally opened its doors to the public.
North Central Regina is home to the new services hub, which officially opened on Tuesday morning and includes a high school, a public library, a recording studio and more.
"The focus here is on success and student success," said Bronwyn Eyre, Saskatchewan's minister of education. "Facilities such as this only help in that regard, to help our young people reach their fullest potential."
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The facility totals 108,000 square feet and cost $42.2 million. It's the first centre of its kind in Canada.
The name mâmawêyatitân means "let's be all together" in Cree. The centre requested the "M" in the name not be capitalized because there is no capitalization in the Cree language. Additionally, the facility will not be identified with the pronoun "the."
The centre houses:
- A First Nations elders' ceremonial room.
- Scott Collegiate High School.
- A 33-space child-care centre.
- A city recreational complex.
- A public library branch.
- A community policing centre.
- The Chili for Children food program.
- The North Central Community Association.
- The REACH program neighbourhood food store.
- A recording studio.
- A commercial kitchen area.
Work continues on a garden, soccer pitch, basketball court and green space for cultural teaching and storytelling. Most remaining construction is expected to be complete by spring 2018.
Grade 12 student Cheyenne Kay said she couldn't wait to start classes at the new Scott Collegiate. She attended the former high school, which now lies in rubble beside mâmawêyatitân.
"Personally, I like high school," said Kay. "I love bio and chemistry, and I like the people here at this school because the teachers help you a lot, and the students are friendly."