The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) has received a $215,000 grant from the USDA Rural Development, funding that will 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,” IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin said.
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 IAIA has been included, in November.
The grant comes from the USDA 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 of about an annual average of $16 million, specifically for tribal colleges to meet the colleges’ needs instead of competing with other rural development projects.
“Since we came here in 2000, the USDA has been very supportive,” Martin said.
The new wing will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED gold certified, “green” built and taking 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 silver, the Sculpture and Foundry building.
USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented IAIA a certificate of congratulations and obligation on May 10.
“USDA Rural Development is proud to be a partner in the construction of the welcome center and administration facility,” Brunner said. “I know this new facility will ultimately provide a better working and learning environment for the staff and students at IAIA.”
Ground breaking for the new wing is tentatively scheduled for February 2013.
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