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Tribally-Owned Architecture and Engineering Firm Blue Star Breaks Ground on Pet Shelter for Tulsa Day Center

(TULSA, Okla., June 5, 2024) — Blue Star Integrative Studio, a Bodwé Professional Services Group company, in partnership with AC Owen Construction, broke ground last Friday on their first community-impact project in Tulsa — the addition of a pet shelter to the Tulsa Day Center.

Tulsa Day Center (TDC) is a community resource for Tulsans experiencing houselessness. The organization’s mission goes further than just providing shelter and meals. TDC empowers people to change their lives and to create a reality where they no longer need the Center’s help. The Center offers health services, personalized case management, and computer access.

The addition of a pet shelter to the facility provides another valuable amenity for Tulsans accessing the Day Center. Mack Haltom, TDC’s executive director, also described how a pet shelter can be a step toward finding long-term housing. “We began allowing pets on a limited basis more than a year ago, and we’ve already proven that if we can get people inside for services, they can get connected with case management and, hopefully, work toward a permanent housing solution,” Haltom said.

Upon completion, the pet shelter can accommodate five large dogs and five small dogs, or cats, using a stackable kennel system. The new facility also includes five additional kennel runs for larger animals, a pet wash station, and an isolation area for unique circumstances or for pets to receive veterinary care. “One of our goals is to be sure we have a veterinarian that we can refer to,” Haltom said. “We already started building those relationships to make sure the pets are safe, shots are taken care of, and eventually we hope we can offer neutering and spaying services, as well.”

Along with Blue Star Integrative Studio, two other Bodwé Group companies were involved in the project. WBK Engineering provided civil engineering services and The Steelhead Engineering Company supported mechanical, electrical and plumbing services. Blue Star joined Bodwé Group in 2021 and secured the pet shelter project in 2023. Having not yet worked on a Tulsa-based project, Blue Star’s collaboration with TDC was a “chance to highlight the team’s capacity and talents,” said Jeremy Berg, president and chief operating officer of Bodwé Group. “This project was important to us because it connects our staff in Tulsa back to the community,” said Berg. “It also aligns with our values and our commitment to being good neighbors. Architects and engineers like to work in their communities, but we don’t always get a chance to do that.”

“Bodwé team members enjoyed working on this project not only because of its impact but also because it improves the quality of care that both people and pets receive from TDC,” said Marcus Smith, Blue Star project manager. “We see this project as a way we can impact our immediate community and we’re proud to be able to help our neighbors,” Smith said. “Tulsa Day Center is maximizing their new space and I think once it’s open the kennel’s going to be full. People will come and use [TDC’s] services because of the kennel.”

Berg further emphasized Bodwé Group’s commitment to their values and to the people they serve. “We’re really trying to make nice places to live,” said Berg. “I think it’s exciting to help Tulsa Day Center get this project over the finish line and it directly aligns with our organization’s mission to grow the legacy of our company’s owners the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana.” Blue Star’s sister company, Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, is conducting assessments on over 28 housing properties across southwest Michigan to determine habitability and make recommendations. Additional community-impact projects underway include supportive housing developments for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe in Michigan, the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin, and the redesign of the Many Farms High School campus in Many Farms, Arizona.

Construction of the pet shelter has been divided into two phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in fall 2024.

ABOUT BLUE STAR INTEGRATIVE STUDIO

Blue Star Integrative Studio is a tribally-owned, Indian Small Business Economic Enterprise (ISBEE), interdisciplinary design practice built on the belief in the power of place that comes from a long-term relationship between people and the land. Blue Star works with tribal, public, and private clients, holding high standards for ourselves as well as the people and the projects we engage in, from architectural and interior design, to wayfinding, signage and graphics, to development consulting and master planning.

Learn more at: http://www.bsi.studio

ABOUT BODWÉ PROFESSIONAL SERVICES GROUP

Bodwé is the Professional Services Group of Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment enterprise and a wholly owned instrumentality of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi. Bodwé Group is comprised of Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, WBK Engineering, The Steelhead Engineering Company, Blue Star Integrative Studio, and Bodwé Technology Solutions. Bodwé teams provide architecture, interior design, master planning, environmental consulting, and structural, civil, and MEP engineering design, as well as federal consulting services. We partner with Indigenous, healthcare, federal and municipal government, community, and private clients across the country. Learn more at: http://www.bodwegroup.com

ABOUT MNO-BMADSEN

Mno-Bmadsen is a wholly owned instrumentality of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, launched in 2012 and independently managed with the mandate to diversify the Tribe’s business interests, revenue streams, and wealth for future generations. The Mno-Bmadsen family of operating companies are organized under four actively managed investment portfolio sectors including a Professional Services Group, Construction Services Group, Manufacturing Services Group, and Commercial Real Estate Services. Mno-Bmadsen also has a number of real estate investments including several mixed-use properties, a hotel and other passive investments. Learn more at: http://www.mno-bmadsen.com

ABOUT THE POKAGON BAND OF POTAWATOMI

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994. The Pokagon Band is dedicated to providing community development initiatives such as housing, education, family services, medical care, and cultural preservation for its more than 6,000 citizens. The Pokagon Band’s ten-county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac, Mich., with a satellite office in South Bend, Ind. In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich., followed by Four Winds Hartford in 2011, Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013, and Four Winds South Bend in January 2018. The Pokagon Band operates a variety of non-gaming businesses through its investment enterprises, Mno-Bmadsen, and the Pokagon Development Authority. More information is available at http://www.pokagonband-nsn.gov, http://www.fourwindscasino.com and http://www.mno-bmadsen.com.

ABOUT THE TULSA DAY CENTER

Through a full range of services, the Tulsa Day Center provides shelter, services and solutions for people overcoming anticipated, situational and chronic homelessness. Support is offered day and night, 365 days a year. Learn more at tulsadaycenter.org.

 

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