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‘Home of the Otters’: Construction to start soon on new Blind River school

Algoma District School Board aims to have new $50.5M building completed by 2026

Construction will begin soon on the new Three Rivers JK-12 School in Blind River.

Algoma District School Board trustees received an update on the project from senior administration officials at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Joe Santa Maria, ADSB associate director of corporate services and operations, told trustees that rock blasting and other preliminary work has been done in preparation for pouring of concrete at the 30-acre property.

“The timeline (for the opening of the new school) is going to be early 2026. We’re pushing for completion,” Santa Maria told SooToday after Tuesday’s meeting.

The province announced $50.5 million in funding for the project in November 2023.

Santa Maria shared photos of the site and renderings of Three Rivers JK-12 School done by Sault architectural and engineering firm IDEA.

The school will be built by Finnway General Contractor of Thunder Bay and several subcontractors.

Three Rivers JK-12 School will be shared by the ADSB and Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord and located at 158 Youngfox Road in Blind River.

It will replace the ADSB’s W.C. Eaket Secondary School and Blind River Public School. Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord’s Ecole publique des Pins Blanc will move to Three Rivers from its current base within W.C. Eaket. 

The school will have 453 spaces for 269 elementary students and 184 secondary students. The building will also include 64 child care spaces. 

“We’re excited with this project. This was a project, as everyone knows around this table, that took some time to get there but we’re very excited with where we’re at right now in the progress we’re making,” Santa Maria told the board.

As far as a team name and mascot is concerned, Three Rivers JK-12 School will be known as ‘Home of the Otters.’

A naming committee chose the otter because it is believed that the creature symbolizes boldness, friendship, peace, kindness, community and curiosity said Joe Maurice, ADSB superintendent.

“Otters are very curious. They’re what we want our students to be as confident learners and caring citizens,” Maurice told the board.

Dark blue, turquoise and orange were chosen as the school’s colours.

A school-naming committee of 13 people including school board officials, staff, students, community members and Indigenous community members announced in January that Three Rivers was picked from a short list of three possible names, the two others being Huron North and North Current.

Three Rivers was chosen because it includes the Mississauga River, Blind River and Serpent River, the three languages of English, French and Ojibway and the three communities of Iron Bridge, Blind River and Serpent River that the school will serve.

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Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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