CIT Groundbreaking Breaks New Ground

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

Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT) has had much to celebrate during the past several years, and Monday, August 13 was another banner day in Crownpoint, NM. CIT broke ground for a 20,000-square foot “one-stop” facility to house several Navajo Nation social agencies. TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), the Child Support and Protection Agency, the Navajo Nation Scholarship Office, The Workforce Development Agency, and TAOS (Tohatchi Area Opportunity Services program) will all be under one roof, thanks to a $2.1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant.

“The new office facility will be a real convenience to the community,” said CIT Special Projects Officer Leon Porter. “Right now these various agencies are scattered throughout the reservation, which makes it very hard for people to get to the help they need – especially people with handicaps and without transportation. A central location makes sense, and we’re happy to be in a position to help out.”

On the same day, the institute began construction of its new cultural center, a hogan-shaped log building dedicated to the preservation of Navajo language and culture. The cultural center is a joint project of the American Indian College Fund, the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, and log home building suppliers around the country. “Our cultural center will be a showcase for the Eastern Navajo Agency – a living laboratory for study and preservation of our Navajo history, culture, and language. CIT has always sought ways to preserve the old as we explore the new. The center is the perfect place to make that happen,” said J. R. DeGroat, development officer for CIT.

Speakers from the offices of U.S. Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman and U.S. Rep. Tom Udall attended. The groundbreaking ceremony followed where Roberto Salazar, director of USDA’s Rural Development Agency in New Mexico, presented a check to CIT president James M. Tutt. After lunch CIT staff and facility and community representatives joined in placing the cultural center’s foundation logs. “These projects are a fine example of cooperation between the college and the community,” said Tutt. “The office building will be a great help to people seeking the agencies’ assistance, and the agencies themselves can guide their clients to the many educational opportunities CIT offers. The Cultural Center will be a genuine force for uniting our Navajo people.”

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