Youth centre that burned down was 'extremely important' in Cambridge Bay

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The youth centre in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, burned to the ground Monday.  (Jane George/CBC - image credit)
The youth centre in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, burned to the ground Monday. (Jane George/CBC - image credit)

The Hamlet of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, is starting to deal with the big loss of the community's youth centre, after it burned to the ground Monday.

"It was an extremely important facility in the community," said Jim MacEachern, the hamlet's chief administrative officer.

The youth centre was housed in one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge Bay, which first housed the Ministry of Transport offices and residences in the 1950s.

In 2018, the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program invested $120,000 in renovations to the youth centre, which lies near the centre of the community.

"It was recently renovated and all the kids were really excited to be going back, so it was devastating for the community."

Jane George/CBC
Jane George/CBC

MacEachern couldn't put a dollar figure on the loss of the youth centre, or say when and how it will be replaced.

He said the priority now is to find an existing location to offer the youth centre's services, which included breakfast and lunch programs.

"As everyone knows there is already a shortage across Nunavut in terms of youth programming so to lose the youth centre is horrible and we have to identify other hamlet facilities that can replace some of that programming."

RCMP in the community said in a news release they are investigating the fire.

They ask anyone with information to call the detachment at 867-983-0123 or reach Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or text NWTNUTIPS plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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