PICTOU LANDING – A grand opening of the Pictou Landing band administration building officially ended the journey to fulfill a partnership and construct a prototype facility with the potential to apply its features elsewhere.
The new 6,000-square-foot energy-efficient, multi-purpose facility was officially opened during a ceremony last Friday at the building.
Besides the First Nation, the partners included the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, MacGregors Industrial Group and Solar Solutions Group. The building features ample storage, office and meeting space.
Chief Andrea Paul praised the Chamber’s leadership in the project. The chamber received $58,500 in federal funding from ACOA to lead the project with its partners.
“He saw we had a need and pointed us in the right direction,” she said. “The partnership between MacGregors and Solar has been a positive relationship for our community in terms of business opportunity, growth and development. It’s not really about a building; it’s about a community. It’s high time this community felt part of a larger community.”
“This collaboration made this facility possible,” Central Nova MP Sean Fraser added.
Dave MacGregor, manager of business development for MacGregors Industrial Group, had hoped to have the building closed in by the end of 2015, but it took longer than expected to integrate the energy efficiencies designed into the structure.
“I can’t begin to tell you what a relief it is to see this day,” he said, while praising the idea, leadership and “A team willing to take the risk and make it through to the end.”
He also lauded the nearly 20 First Nation people who worked on the project.
“Not one would I be hesitant in hiring,” he said.
Sean Fleming from Solar Solution saw the project as an example of the First Nation, business and government working together. The company provided the solar panels that adorn the front pitch of the building’s roof.
“It’s a template that can be replicated in communities across the country,” he said.
The afternoon ceremony opened with the unveiling of a mural by Leonard Paul. Its features include a forest background as a symbol of building materials and medicine the forest provides; a river seen as a means of transportation and a bull moose to recognize food, clothing and crafts.
“It was an honour to see a way to fuse the community into one theme,” he said.