When it opened, there were nine students. Now, there are 154. On Friday evening, Yellowknife's francophone École Allain St-Cyr will hold a celebration to mark its 30th anniversary.
The school began as a collection of portables in the parking lot of the city's École JH Sissons School in 1989, the Commission scolaire francophone said in a news release on Thursday.
The school's current building on Taylor Road was built in 1999, when enrolment had grown to 64 students.
Over the two decades that followed, the francophone school board engaged in long-running conflicts with the NWT government – including legal action – over access to funding for the school to grow.
Last year, new facilities finally opened: a commercial kitchen, gymnasium, and extra classrooms. In recent weeks, the school hosted a volleyball tournament for the first time in its three-decade existence.
"We are celebrating these 30 years of evolution; gains, losses, negotiations, court battles, victories, and constructions," said Simon Cloutier, the school board's chair, in a news release.
Sylvie Larose, the school's current principal, said: "The pride of the francophone community is powerful. Students attending École Allain St-Cyr were very patient. Now, they are enjoying the new spaces and the impact is positive."
Allain St-Cyr himself, who gave his name to the school, will be present at Friday's celebration.
The event is open to the public and runs from 5pm till 7pm at the school.