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NNSL Photo/Graphic

Yellowknives Dene CEO Jeanne Cadieux, Dettah elders Michel Paper, Judy Charlo, and Isadore Tsetta, Chief Peter Liske, and Roy Erasmus Jr. dig into the ground at the site of Dettah's new $3.5 community complex. Construction began this week on the building, which is to be completed next year. - Jennifer Obleman/NNSL photo

Construction starts on $3.5 million community complex

Jennifer Obleman
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Dettah leaders dug into an important new project last Friday - a sod turning for a new $3.5 million community complex.

Construction was to begin this week on the building, located next to the community hall, and be completed within a year.

"We are very proud we're going to have a new Dettah community complex," said Dettah Chief Peter Liske.

"The former chiefs, their dream was to have a new community hall, way down as far as Jonas Sangris and Joe Charlo. Today we're making history. I think this will bring everybody together."

The 12,000-square-foot facility will house 13 administrative offices and an archive room on the first floor and a new community hall with space for 400 people.

"The shape is a Dettah rose to signify the fine work of the Weledeh beaders. The roof will have fine petals to signify a rose, and there is an extension of one leaf," explained Yellowknives Dene CEO Jeanne Cadieux.

The leaf jutting out will hold a foyer as well as clinic rooms for medical personnel who come to the community. Because of the slope of the land, both the upper and lower floors will have ground-floor entry.

The shape of the building allows for the addition of a second leaf in the future, if there's a demand for it.

The new community complex will also feature a generator back-up. In an extended power outage, the building can be operated as an emergency shelter for the whole community.

The $3.5 million project is being funded through the Government of the Northwest Territories' Municipal and Community Affairs capital projects.