A local school in northwestern Ontario is seeing a nearly $3 million investment to expand its operation.

Earlier this week, the federal government and Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski announced a $2.9 million investment in Mishkosiminiziibiing’s Pegamigaabo School, to help meet the community’s cultural, educational and environmental needs.

The community of Mishkosiminiziibiing, otherwise known as Big Grassy River First Nation, has a reported population of 277 residents and is located in the Morson area, west of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls.

Chief Lynn Indian says the community is extremely excited and thankful for the investment in their youth, which will help them to expand with 200 m2 of extra space with a new pre-kindergarten classroom and an Ojibway language classroom.

“This project will allow our children of the community access to safe, reliable, and healthy learning environments which will provide an important foundation to life learning.”

The investment will also allow the community to retrofit the school with solar panels, high-efficiency windows and power-assisted doors, helping reduce energy consumption by nearly 60 per cent and reducing greenhouse emissions by about 18 tonnes per year.

The Pegamigaabo school is a council-operated school that offers Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8. It was built in 1999 with two playgrounds, a baseball field, a soccer field and an outdoor skating rink.

The school also saw provincial funds to study the feasibility of the solar panel project earlier this year.