Celebrations were held at the grand opening of the new Northlands College campus in La Ronge today.

The Rock Campus is located on La Ronge Avenue in Mistasinihk Place.

The college says it will serve to further reach the school’s mandate of advancing social, cultural and economic leadership opportunities and working towards student success in the province’s north.

“We want students to realize this is their place. They have a kitchen and all kinds of stuff here that makes them able to study into the night if they need to and its a place for them to meet, and study and do well,” says Northlands President and CEO, Toby Greschner. ” We have about 250 students across the north taking university programming right now.  We would like to see that number hit 500 in five years, it’s incredibly optimistic but we’re working hard to do that.”

A large amount of the student body is comprised of former NORTEP students who were left with unfinished degrees when the school closed last spring.

“A lot of us were stressed, there was a lot of uncertainty. We were two years into a degree (and) we didn’t know if we were going to be able to finish it or where we were going to finish it,” says Bachelor of Education Student, Kirsty Waite.

Waite was uncertain of how to proceed after NORTEP closed last year, but says things have been looking up recently.

“We still have some of the familiar faces from NORTEP so we still have the same instructors,” remarked Waite. “We all have great marks, we were able to rise above the stress and the uncertainty and we’re all doing great.”

The Rock is the second campus operated by Northlands in La Ronge and its fifth location in the province.

(PHOTO: Classroom in Northlands College’s The Rock Campus in La Ronge. Photo by Abel Charles.)