Fort Belknap Building Work Training Center

Aug 15th, 2010 | By | Category: 22-1: Native Activism, Fall 2010, Tribal College News

Anyone driving past the campus of Fort Belknap College (FBC, Harlem, MT) is sure to notice construction for the new Workforce Training Center. The two-story, 13,630-square foot building will incorporate tribal images throughout the building—and is also considered “green” because much of the building’s material is recycled.

According to architect Bruce Davidson of Davidson Architecture, one-quarter of the steel siding is recycled, as is some of the wood and carpet. All of the glues used are of low VOC, water-based products. The mechanical system is an air-to-air heating and cooling exchange, which means the building will consume less electricity and make a lower carbon footprint. It’s one of the first green buildings in the area, and it is also fully handicapped-accessible.

The center will house the carpentry class, the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP), and the Adult Basic Education Center. Recently, FBC carpentry instructor Robert Kittson and his students poured new sidewalks. The construction students get “hands on” experience working on projects like this, says Kittson, adding that “for the building trades, that’s really the only way to learn.”

Landscaping will include a grassy courtyard with benches and tables that will act as a centerpiece between the FBC Library and the FBC Cultural Center. The Workforce Training Center’s tentative completion date is early 2011.

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