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Renovated school important step towards healing from shooting: La Loche mayor

A ceremony was held to unveil renovations made to Dene High School, where the 2016 La Loche school shooting took place.
A ceremony was held to unveil renovations made to Dene High School, where the 2016 La Loche school shooting took place. Government of Saskatchewan / Supplied

Students, teachers, and officials gathered for a ceremony to mark the completion of school renovations as La Loche, Sask., continues to heal from a tragic shooting.

“Our community has undergone a very traumatic event and that will take a long time to heal from, but we are thankful to the Government of Saskatchewan for funding the renovations that are completed to the areas most impacted,” La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre said in a press release.

READ MORE: La Loche school shooter court document details reasons for appeal

“This is a very important step in our healing journey.”

A 17-year-old boy shot and killed four people in the northern village on Jan. 22, 2016. Seven others were injured.

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The shooter, who cannot be named, is currently appealing his sentence.

Renovations totaling $4.45-million included improvements to the front entrance, staff rooms, junior science room, and the student lounge.

Photo of newly-renovated space at Dene High School in La Loche, Sask.
Photo of newly-renovated space at Dene High School in La Loche, Sask. Government of Saskatchewan / Supplied
Photo of newly-renovated space at Dene High School in La Loche, Sask.
Photo of newly-renovated space at Dene High School in La Loche, Sask. Government of Saskatchewan / Supplied

“Today is a day of comfort and reflection as we remember all who were affected by the tragic event of Jan. 22, 2016, at Dene High School,” Northern Lights School Division board chairperson Joey McCallum said in a press release.

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“We will never forget those who were injured and those whose lives were taken that day. The addition and renovations project is now complete. It is a beautiful space that will be treasured for years to come.”

READ MORE: Sister of teacher who died in La Loche school shooting returns to work with youth

Funding was initially provided in 2016 to begin design work for the renovations, which were in response to the shooting. Construction on the project began in early 2018.

La Loche is roughly 605 kilometres north of Saskatoon.