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Longhouse at NWCC Terrace Campus takes shape

TERRACE Excitement is building at Northwest Community Colleges Terrace Campus this week as the logs for the longhouse began to be lifted into place by a 50-ton crane. This is the first longhouse to be built in the City of Terrace, and only one of a handful in the region, stated Stephanie Forsyth, President of Northwest Community College. These are very exciting days. The main structural supports were lifted into place on Oct. 6 and 7, followed by the log rafters the following few days. All told, 120,000 lbs worth of structural logs and timber were installed over the week. After much delay in trying to secure the logs for the project, the building is finally taking shape. The walls are up and roof work will begin next week. Students, graduates and instructors with the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art have spent a busy summer preparing welcome poles, crest sculptures and painted panels for the longhouse and much of their work is complete. Once the siding goes on, massive exterior house front panels will be fixed to the front of the building. It is going to be a very impressive building and a testament to the transformation that is underway at Northwest Community College, said Irene Seguin, Chair of the College Board of Governors. Sanctioned by representatives of the Tsimshian Hereditary chiefs and Elders of the Kitsumkalum and Kitselas Bands and NWCC's First Nations Council, the longhouse will be a gathering place for student and public ceremonies, functions and celebrations as well as home to a gallery and lounge areas for students. "The changing landscape, with the construction of a First Nations style longhouse at the Northwest Community College Campus in Terrace shows creativity and willingness to change, said Gerald Wesley, a Kitsumkalum Hereditary Chief and member of the NWCC Board of Governors. With this new longhouse being built, First Nations people can realize that the College wants to accommodate education and training needs and the non-native population can see that First Nations have had a presence in this area for countless generations and that they play a role in today's society. We should all look forward to the opening ceremony." The longhouse, scheduled to open next spring, will be known as Waap Galts'ap Tsimshian for Community House. The name is a testament to its location on the traditional territory of the Tsimshian people.

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