Menominee Constructing Green ‘Silver’ Library

Jul 12th, 2011 | By | Category: 20-1: Native Voices, Modern Media, Tribal College News
By Joel Kroenke

A new, “green,” environmentally friendly, and sustainable library is under construction at College of Menominee Nation’s (CMN) Keshena, WI, campus. When completed the library will be 18,600 square feet in size, replacing a current facility of 2,200 square feet now housed in the windowless basement of Glenn Miller Hall, the college’s administrative building.

A new library has long been a priority for CMN, but lack of capital funding limited the college from moving forward until now. Still facing tight budget realities, the project will be completed in phases. An award from the U.S. Department of Education, Title III, will fund Phase I construction, including the shell of the building and the first floor in time for the fall 2008 semester. Additional funding is being sought for completing the upper and lower levels of the building.

CMN has taken its commitment to sustainability seriously in designing its new library. The “flagship” building is being built to the equivalent of a U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED “Silver” rating, designed to be 29% more efficient than Wisconsin’s Uniform Building Code minimum standards. Earth-friendly features include 36 geothermal wells that will heat and cool the main and upper floors of the building, natural daylighting throughout the building, structural insulating roof panels, heat recovery ventilation, and locally produced building materials including white pine paneling from the Menominee Indian Tribe’s sustainably managed forests, and daylight and occupancy sensors. The building also has low volatile organic compounds (an indoor air contaminant found in various building materials).

Landscape features will include a bioswale stormwater retention area featuring native plants as well as a public plaza area and a campus green. Over 60 sizable pine trees were saved and moved from the building site to other locations on campus as part of the project, and a local “Wild Ones” chapter moved native wildflowers that would also have fallen victim to the construction. New walking trail improvements are planned with lots of potential “hands-on” opportunities for native plantings to follow.

Construction of CMN’s new library symbolizes an active commitment by the college to its growth and long-term vision. The library will not only be the center of campus research but also an important center for further developing the sense of community at the college. It will provide a unique focus on important archival collections, many of them unique to the Menominee people.

The new library is one of a number of capital projects being celebrated in 2008, the 15th anniversary of CMN. Recently a mechanical maintenance building and an addition to the trades building were completed on CMN’s Keshena campus. The college recently broke ground for an expansion of the college’s Cultural Learning Center.

For more information on the project, contact Joel Kroenke, campus planner, College of Menominee Nation, at (715) 799-5600 or

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