Thunder Bay

$16M federal funding helps Matawa education centre 'become a reality'

The education manager with Matawa Education says the $16M federal funding for the Matawa Education and Care Centre will help them complete their goal and finish all the renovations needed to make their "vision become a reality." 

The funding will help complete all the renovations needed at the facility

Renovations at the old Grandview Lodge will be completed by August 2020, to help create the Matawa Education and Care Centre. (Google Streetview)

The education manager with Matawa Education says the $16M federal funding for the Matawa Education and Care Centre will help them complete their goal and finish all the renovations needed to make their "vision become a reality." 

"I feel its a long time coming," Sharon Nate told CBC News. "We've been at this for quite a number of years now, so actually having the federal government make a commitment was pretty overwhelming."

On Wednesday, the education centre received more than $16 million in federal funding for upgrades including a new classroom, mental health support wing, and gymnasium.

"We did get money here and there to start on minor renovations, just to get us moving into the building ... and so on," Nate added. "[This funding] means student safety, it means the students will have a place to live ... someone of the communities don't even send their students out to the city because there's a lack of boarding homes for students to live in. So offering this 100 bed facility will not only enable students to live there but it will give them more access to supports that they need."

She said the staff that have been working at the education and care centre understand and know what these youths are going through when they move to Thunder Bay from a small community.

The multi-million dollar funding will help the facility complete "the accommodation centre" which is located on the second floor of the building, as well as the "trades classrooms, that's located in the basement" and a "multi-purpose gymnasim."

Nate said they expect everything to be completed by August 2020, with a grand opening planned for September.

"We have a lot of work to do with a year and some months but it's exciting."

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