Update on Tribal Office Expansion Plans
Submitted by Jason Weaver
LCO Grants Department
The Tribal Government has given direction to the Tribal Grants and Planning team to find funding to expand the existing Tribal office building. Many of the Tribal programs have seen unprecedented growth and have increased staff numbers that far exceed our office space. We have staff members working in tight quarters in the Court, legal, Child Support, I.T. and Indian Child Welfare programs. We also have secure filing space needs to comply with federal regulations that are taking up existing space. We don't have a secure lobby for our Tribal Court and that has been identified as a need. The siding and stone work around the building is in need of repair and replacement as well.
While child support is planning on moving to a new location the existing space is still not adequate for the number of staff on hand and new hires. Many of the departments have the ability to fund more professional and semiprofessional positions but the lack of office space limits the potential job growth.
The project would build an additional 6,998 square feet of office space and remodel 3,436 square feet. Essentially the Tribal office would expand out to the sidewalk to the East and towards the blacktop in the North. Because there is not a contracted company to design or build yet these numbers and plans are still not locked in. When a design team is hired the plans will be modified to meet the needs of the departments and the Tribal Governing Board will have to give the final approval.
The BIA roads engineers have been here this summer to look at the Tribal office parking lot drainage issues, the tight entry near the clinic and to add space on the east side towards the existing ditch. There are many issues that will need to be addressed to make this a seamless project that is a benefit to the Tribe.
So far, the Grants department was able to secure $700,000 through the HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant and has submitted more grant applications for an additional $573,400 and $700,000 for a total of $1,973,400 to help offset the estimated $2,154,082 price tag.