Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Wiidookodaadiyang Giniigaanayi'iiminaaning - “Working Together for our Future”

A Report and Photo Series on Progress for Red Lake Nation


Glenda Martin, Ponemah Representative to the Red Lake Tribal Council gave a tour of the building.

Over the rest of Summer and into the Fall, we will be publishing stories and many photos of; “recently completed”, “current”, and “future projects” in progress on the Red Lake Indian Reservation...for the betterment of the Nation and it’s members.

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians has several million dollars worth of construction going on this Summer and Fall, including; housing, environmental and energy initiatives, elder and youth services, transportation, infrastructure and more.

In this THIRD of the series now on “Current Projects," the Ponemah Community Center is highlighted.

Ponemah Multi-Use Community Center: Home for Ponemah Boys and Girls Club Nears Completion

Red Lake Nation will soon have a new home for the Ponemah Branch of the Red Lake Nation Boys and Girls Club. The much anticipated $2.5 million multi-purpose community center is on schedule for Fall completion. The groundbreaking for Boys and Girls Club and new Ponemah Center, was held in May last year.

The new Ponemah Community Center replaces a nearly 50 year-old facility and trailer for the Boys and Girls Club. In 2009, a facility assessment was completed and determined that the aging facility was in poor condition and could not accommodate the growing youth population and community needs.

A collaborative community master plan process was then implemented with the help of DSGW Architects of Duluth, MN. The plan concluded that the Ponemah community would benefit from a community space for cultural gatherings, activity space for youth, a library and a technology resource center. The new center features a multi-purpose gymnasium with ceremonial North and South Entrances, and will provide community gathering space for wakes.

“Part of the grant agreement was to have a library contained within the center, which was just fine with us”, said Glenda Martin, Ponemah Representative to the Red Lake Tribal Council, during a recent tour of the building.

Dan Crowe, an employee of Red Lake Builders and the job superintendent for the project said during the tour, that the old building (Community Center) will be torn down. “The new building is designed so that it can be added to," observed Crowe, “Head Start and a daycare center for sure."

“Right now the center will be split between the Community Center and the Boys and Girls Club, thus a multi-use facility”, added Martin.

“Nearby (across the street) will be a new elderly nutrition site and fitness center," said Martin pointing to an empty lot. “Negotiations are also taking place to have the ambulances in the next building move over a block so that the fire building may be used for just fire."

Red Lake Going Green

“The building is designed to maximize energy efficiency by utilizing solar technology, water heated panels, and geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool the building. Strategically placed windows will maximize daylight interior lighting which results in energy efficiency," said Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. in the 2011 State of the Band message.

“The building is all about saving energy," said Martin, “with reflected light from the library into the main part of the building through glass block walls."

Martin reiterated that a south wall of solar panels will both heat and cool the building. “Energy efficiency was a high priority, not only for philosophical and cultural reasons, but for economics as well," she said. "It cost something like $30 grand to heat the old building."

The new Ponemah Community Center uses best practices for sustainable design. Simple design considerations such as building orientation, location of windows, selection of long-life cycle materials, low-emitting interior materials and finishes, as well as the use of sun shades will enhance the performance and longevity of the building.

Red Lake representatives worked with DSGW Architects to choose appropriate sustainable design elements. This included creating payback modeling for energy efficient mechanical systems to estimate the return on investment. Before selecting a geothermal heat pump and well system with in-floor heat, for example, DSGW staff prepared a cost-benefit analysis.

The cost-benefit analysis identified the benefits of sun shading devices, geothermal heat pumps, and a solar wall with a simple pay-back of 15 years to reduce the overall energy costs to operate the facility. Ponemah Community Center will operate more efficiently, require less maintenance and also provide a safe, healthy environment for the community.

One unique system used on the south exterior wall of the gymnasium is a solar air heating system. The solar collector is mounted a few inches from the building’s outer wall. Perforations in the metal panels allow outside air to travel through the face of the panel. Solar heated air at the surface of the panel is drawn through the perforations where it rises between the two walls and enters the building’s ventilation system where it is pushed out of the building. In the summer, this system will help prevent normal solar radiation from reaching the building's main wall and heating up the building.

The Building: Background and the Future

The construction of the facility, managed by Red Lake Builders, is being completed in two phases:

1. Phase A includes a gymnasium and lockers, which is now weather tight with pre-cast walls, metal bar joists, metal decking, roof insulation EPDM membrane, and concrete floor installed.

2. Phase B includes an activity center, library, technology center and kitchen for the Boys and Girls Club. Block work is complete on Phase B, and Bar Joist and metal decking are currently being installed. The project is on schedule.

“The completed nearly $2.5 million facility, will host not only the Boys and Girls Club and the Ponemah Community Center, but also a Library, Head Start, Social Services, Elderly Nutrition, Day Care, and even a Judicial Court," said Representative Martin. “With a full gymnasium, library, computer room, kitchen, activities room, tech room, and full kitchen, the Center will meet the needs of community members of all ages. And 'all' is shared space between the community and the boys and girls club."

Dan Crowe, an employee of Red Lake Builders and the job superintendent for the project talked about the building amenities.

Money for the facility came from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, HUD Indian Community Development Block Grants, President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), USDA, EII, and the Red Lake Tribal Council.

About the Boys and Girls Club:

There are already nearly 150 boys and girls at the Ponemah branch Club. The Club employs several staff. There is no cost for membership.

As with other Boys and Girls Clubs, the Red Lake Nation Boys and Girls Club has five core programs. They include; Character and Leadership Development, Education and Career Development, Health and Life Skills, the Arts, and Sports, Fitness and Recreation.

Anishinaabe Culture is integrated as a functional part of all five CORE programs. Culture includes language, values, ethics, the arts, law, history, philosophy, psychology, health, medicine and social Structure.


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