The Grand Chief of the Prince Albert Grand Council says they have already started the work to replace the Senator Allen Bird Memorial Gym.

In a conversation with MBC News, PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte says insurance will cover the cost of a new building and a project team has already been put in place.

“It will be a challenge, but I am optimistic we can get a new building in place,” Hardlotte told MBC News. “We now have to work with all the chiefs of the Prince Albert Grand Council to make that happen.”

Chief Hardlotte spoke on the long history of the building – starting as a residential school and becoming a major gathering place for PAGC events.

Hardlotte says it is important to place any new build in the same spot.

“It has to be in the same location…I would not look at any other location.” said Hardlotte adding any new build will also be named after Senator Allen Bird.

According to the Grand Chief, contracting companies have also reached out offering to help and they are accepting any donations for the new build.

The historic Allen Bird Memorial Gymnasium burned down last month on Good Friday.

A 24-year-old woman faces a charge of arson. That matter is currently before the courts.

(PHOTO: PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte.  File Photo)