Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School Officially Dedicated
After years of lobbying, fundraising and just plain hard work, the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school is finally ready for teachers and students.
There are countless people who were involved in making the dream a reality and many were present at Monday’s dedication ceremony.
“In some ways it is absolutely overwhelming and in other ways it has been such a rewarding walk to get here,” says the school’s superintendent Mary Trapp.
The entire project cost $11.6 million. There’s a new science room, new smart boards, a new tech lab, a special education room, and new classrooms. The school’s staff was a big part of the building process.
Trapp says, “We have outstanding teachers here. They all had input into the design. So if they had a particular area, like the science lab was designed according to the way the teacher wanted it.”
The school was originally built in the 1970s as a place for Ojibwe culture.
“The groundswell of all of this was our community coming together and organizing and creating a place for our students and the thought process behind it was education through our lands,” says Laurie Harper, the chairwoman for Bug-Nay-Ge-Shig school. Harper is also the education director for the Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe.
That original idea will not be lost in the new building. Many of the classes will integrate those teachings into their lessons.
“We have an entire wing of the school that’s dedicated to ojibwe studies and ojibwe drum and dance, ojibwe art,” says Trapp.
Registration for the school will open tomorrow. A few goals of the staff is to increase enrollment and also inspire current students.
“The other thing that we want the school to become is a hub for the community where parents can come in, community groups, activities. We also want it to become a teaching facility for area colleges and universities as well,” says Trapp.
Harper adds, “As I stated earlier if we can see ourselves in the classrooms and if we see that reflection of ourselves in our classrooms then our children see it too and they see that vision of success so that’s our intermediate goal, I guess if you will for our future of the school.”
Teachers will begin moving into the new building in two weeks. School is planned to start for students on September 4th. Right now there are 75 students enrolled in the high school. Staff hopes to increase that number by 30 students each year.