Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik, Kugaaruk's new school, has won a 2020 Award of Excellence and the 2020 Engineering a Better Canada Award through the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Canada.
Accutech Engineering Inc., the project's design engineering firm, worked "quickly and creatively to meet the challenges of designing and building a school in a remote location under a tight deadline," according to a Government of Nunavut news release. "The Department of Education appreciates the creativity and resourcefulness that Accutech Engineering Inc. showed in designing and engineering Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik."
The design and construction of Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik was urgent as Kugaardjuk School was destroyed by fire in February 2017, forcing the community to create makeshift classrooms in other buildings for close to 300 students.
With a budget of close to $40 million and measuring 49,470 square feet, Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik was completed in two years, whereas schools normally take three to four years to complete. Kudlik Construction Ltd. erected the building.
Part of Kugaardjuk School was salvaged and incorporated into Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik: local stones that formed an arch over the previous school's main entrance were transformed into a frame around Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik’s glass trophy case.
"The new school is bright and colourful, with spacious rooms, high ceilings, and modern architectural designs and technology," the Department of Education stated. "For instance, an open-concept lounge area serves as a communal space for students. It is loft-like on the second floor, overlooking the main entrance and hall. A row of coloured windows lets in stripes of coloured light. The furniture is brightly coloured and modern, in both shape and style."
Education Minister David Joanasie added, “Since opening in 2019, Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik has provided opportunities for the people of Kugaaruk to come together and share knowledge, culture, and values that will enrich the entire community. This school has become an inspiring place for students, staff, and the community."