Sitting Bull Builds New Entrepreneurial Center

Nov 15th, 2007 | By | Category: 19-2: Our Story, Our Way, Tribal College News

The new campus at Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND) reached another milestone with the start of construction in September on a new $3.4 million Entrepreneurial Center. In 1999, the college kicked off a $40 million capital campaign to build a new campus, which so far has provided two new academic facilities, a public transit center that provides service to the entire reservation, a cultural center, and 18 student-family housing units, all of which are located on the new campus.

“This new Entrepreneurial Center means a great deal to not only our students, faculty, and staff but to the Standing Rock Reservation, especially the professional business community,” said Laurel Vermillion, president of Sitting Bull College.

Much of the planning for this new business-oriented facility began in 1999 at the start of the capital campaign, but it wasn’t until recently the college was able to secure enough funding to begin construction.

With the help of numerous private donations and several large grant awards from the USDA Rural Development department of North Dakota and the U.S Department of Education (Title III), administrators decided to start construction of the new facility and not hold a groundbreaking ceremony this fall since several have occurred already on the new campus.

“It’s been a long time coming, and we are anxious to get this facility built and up and running,” said Koreen Ressler, vice president of academics and project manager for the new campus project.

SBC is working with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) in an ongoing partnership between the college’s Tribal Business Information Center and the tribe’s Business Equity Loan Fund. With this new facility and all its planned technology, college officials will be able to work even closer with the SRST to spur economic growth for the local area.

The new 16,000-square-foot facility will house four classrooms, 12 employee offices, a computer laboratory, a conference room, and six business incubator spaces, with one wing of the building housing the Entrepreneurial Center and the other wing housing the SBC academic programs, including the 2-year and 4-year business administration programs.

“Although we are starting construction of the Entrepreneurial Center, we still need to raise additional funds for other building projects associated with the new campus project,” Ressler said. Other projects for the new campus include a Student Support Center (Phase I), Financial Operations Center, and student dormitories (men and women).

For more information, contact the college’s Resource Development Office at (701) 854-8000 or email

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