IAIA receives USDA grant

Nov 6th, 2012 | By | Category: 24-2: The Future of the Tribal College Movement, Tribal College News
By Kim Baca

In May, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA, Santa Fe, NM) received a $215,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development to help develop a new welcome center for the 12-year-old campus.

“We don’t have a front door to the campus and this will be a big help,” says President Robert Martin. The grant will be used toward a new $2.2 million, two-story welcome center that will include human resources, student recruitment, financial administration, and other IAIA support services.

The building will be a wing of the current Science and Technology building on the north side of campus. IAIA will continue to seek grants and other sources of funding for construction. Administrators are also hoping that New Mexico voters will pass a general obligation bond slated for higher education, which includes IAIA, in November.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development’s Tribal College Initiative Community Facility Grant program, which provides support to tribal colleges for infrastructure projects. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, created the pool of money, a set-aside averaging about $16 million annually, specifically for tribal colleges to meet the colleges’ needs, instead of forcing them to compete with other rural development projects.

The new wing will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certified, “green” built, and will take into account water usage, emissions, and sustainability. IAIA has two LEED-certified gold structures, the Center for Lifelong Education and the Science and Technology building; and one LEED-certified silver structure, the Sculpture and Foundry building.

Ground breaking for the new wing is tentatively scheduled for February 2013.

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