Saskatoon White Buffalo Youth Lodge seeks new building


The White Buffalo Youth Lodge (WBYL) is no longer partnering with the Saskatoon Public School Division and is now seeking a new building of its own. The two entities were exploring sharing a building at the site of the new city centre school, which combines the Princess Alexandra, King George and Pleasant Hill schools in a new building at the Princess Alexandra location in downtown Saskatoon.But Saskatoon Tribal Chief Mark Arcand told Global News it became clear the site was not large enough for the new school and the drop-in youth recreation centre.“We want to get into two large gyms because (of) the number of kids that we’re seeing… we want to see more multipurpose rooms, to have more activities,” Arcand said, adding the activities could include things like elder services, education or painting. Story continues below advertisement The Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC), City of Saskatoon, Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority operate the lodge.Arcand said the lodge received around 30,000 visits from kids annually in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic. Trending Now He said it’s time to expand and update the facility, which opened in 1999, to continue to help kids in Saskatoon’s urban core.“When kids don’t have a place to go, maybe they’re wandering the streets and they shouldn’t be. They could be in the gymnasiums playing basketball, playing volleyball for hockey, just doing something positive,” he said. 3:47 Challenges and opportunities of wellness centre: Saskatoon Tribal Council The city’s planning, development and community services committee is scheduled to receive a report on the matter on Wednesday. Story continues below advertisement The report estimates the cost for a new lodge at the current location between $15 and $20 million. It also states the City applied to a grant program through Infrastructure Canada to help fund construction.The report states the next steps, pending the committee’s and then city council’s approval, are to have the partners develop an agreement for running the new WBYL.It does not provide a timeline.Arcand said he hoped a new lodge could be operating by 2025 if not sooner, though he said it depends on what funding is available. &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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