Keweenaw Relocating Campus From Downtown

May 15th, 2004 | By | Category: 15-4: Ancient Cultures Modern Technology, Tribal College News

Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC, Baraga, MI) has launched a $25 million fundraising drive for a new campus. Currently, the college buildings include a small academic classroom and library (former Post Office building), an administration building (former two-story home), a computer lab installed at the Ojibwa senior citizens center, and a student fitness center (leased building space).

The new campus will be relocated from the small downtown area of Baraga to a cleared 15-acre parcel on the reservation, just north of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community’s governmental operations. The site overlooks Keweenaw Bay.

In September, the college broke ground for its technology resource center. The center will include administrative and faculty offices, computer lab, GIS lab, distance learning classroom and a classroom.

Working with the tribe, the college plans a multi-purpose building to house the student fitness center, game/activity room, kitchen, commons area, locker rooms, and gymnasium. The gym is designed for community functions such as the college’s graduation ceremony, presentations, performing arts, powwows, honoring ceremonies, basketball tournaments, community feasts, and funeral services.

The facility’s main entrance will provide an information center and Ojibwa cultural display. Beneath the entrance’s skylight, a circle will represent the four sacred directions. It will also include the tribal logo. Carved wood pillars will represent the seven original clans (eagle, crane, loon, fish, bear, martin, bird).

Future plans include a cultural learning center, day care/indoor playground, student housing, library, auditorium, student services center, and building trade center.

The goal of this new campus project is to increase the number of students from 60 to 150. When the entire campus complex is complete, the enrollment goal is to reach 500. The Waakaa’igan Project has received funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USDA Rural Development, and $1.5 million from the Keweenaw Bay Tribal Council.

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