Stone Child College Building New Campus

Nov 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 13-2: The Power of Partnerships, Tribal College News

Springer Group Architects of Bozeman, MT designed the new library building.

As the walls rise on the new campus for Stone Child College (SCC), the hopes and dreams of the students and faculty also climb. SCC President Steve Galbavy said the new campus “is a dream come true for the community at large” on the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation in north central Montana. Although the college has needed a new campus for a long time, it was not possible until recently.

A new library will be located in a 12,800 square foot building, which he expects to be completed early in 2002. The cultural learning center should be completed by the end of November. A new academic building with offices, classrooms, and labs will be next, and it should be completed by 2003.

The library building is being built with $1.2 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Indian Community Development Block Grant and other sources, according to Galbavy.  The tribal government endorsed the college’s plans for the library because it is the only community library on the Chippewa Cree reservation. The college library already plays an important role, providing research material and encouraging literacy. The closest library is 33 miles away in Havre, MT.

SCC Librarian Tracey Jilot radiates joy when she talks about their plans for the new library. Not only will they provide a separate area for tribal college students to study and to use computers, but they also plan a children’s section to encourage reading. Almost every year, the college has sponsored a summer reading program, but this past summer there was not enough room to accommodate both tribal college students needing to study and children listening to stories. Jilot said they hope to have a media room.  “Now if a student misses a class, there’s no place to watch a video or listen to an audio tape,” she said. The new library is close to the new cultural center, which will have the tribal archives and other historical and cultural material.

The main building now used for offices and classrooms suffers from severe problems since it was built over a spring. The college inherited it after the tribe abandoned it. During Christmas break last year, Galbavy and his staff suddenly had to move the college business office because of flooding.  The president moved his office into the space, not wanting to inflict the moldy conditions on anyone else.

The college is raising money to complete the new campus, which is located between the communities of Box Elder and Rocky Boy, five miles from the present site. On Galbavy’s wish list are a student union building, student housing, and a performing arts center.

Glenda Eagleman Wells, a student at Stone Child College, contributed to this article.

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