Ground Breaking Ceremony held for New Red Lake Government Center and Red Lake Nation College
USDA Rural Development Delivers over $20 Million for Public Service and Education Improvements
RED LAKE, Minn., July 25 – Red Lake Tribal Nation Chairman Jourdain Jr. and other Tribal Nation leaders welcomed USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today to break ground with local, state, and national officials on a project that will result in new facilities for a Government Center and Red Lake Nation College. The city received over $20 million in loans from USDA Rural Development for a new facility that will house all government offices in one building and a new education facility to accommodate the increasing student enrollment at Red Lake Nation College. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of the Department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.
“Providing critical infrastructure for essential community facilities is vital to the success of any community,” said Colleen Landkamer, USDA Rural Development State Director. “Red Lake’s ability to build new facilities for a government center that will house all offices in one location and a college that will accommodate student enrollment growth will increase the efficiency of public service and sustainability of the Red Lake Tribal Nation and surrounding communities.”
The Tribal Government is currently housed in two buildings, which have deteriorated over the last 60 years to the point of being too costly to repair. The conditions of these buildings are such that they have started to cause health problems for employees due to water damage, mold, asbestos and poor air quality and circulation. The new Tribal Government Center will provide 24,696 square feet of space and allow all Tribal Government offices to be housed in one building.
The Red Lake Tribal College is currently being housed in the Red Lake Humanities building. This facility was built in 1971 and was constructed to serve the community for 30 years. Despite numerous maintenance repairs over the years, it is now past its useful life. The current facility is unfit to serve the needs of current student enrollment, which has doubled over the past two years.
The Red Lake Tribal College is working on accreditation, which continues to expand its enrollment and usage by surrounding community.
“This is an historic day for the people of the Red Lake Nation,” said President of Red Lake Nation College Dan King. “These beautiful new Government facilities and Tribal College, located on this incredible natural, lakeside beauty, will transform our community and have a positive impact on all current and future Red Lake members.”
The new College building will provide classrooms, labs, offices, and other needs all in one location. In addition, the space will allow for a fitness center, day care center, college commons area, library and cultural center. At 42,094 square feet, the new facility will provide the space needed to expand the college’s resources and continue to provide education that will prepare students for a competitive workforce. Both projects will bring much needed employment during construction.
“The building of these new facilities will bring over 120 jobs and much needed construction and economic development to our rural community and region,” said King. “We are very thankful to USDA for their strong support of Tribal Nations and rural communities.”
USDA funding comes in the form of a $10,130,000 direct loan for the Government Center and an $11,438,000 direct loan for Red Lake Nation College through its Community Facilities program. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested over $225 million in loans and grants to build or improve over 230 essential community facilities throughout rural Minnesota.
Rural Development also invests in housing, water and wastewater treatment, businesses, renewable energy and high-speed Internet. To learn more about Rural Development programs, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn, or call the area office in Bemidji, Minn. at (218) 751-1942, ext. 4.
USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $700 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay