Agency Village, SD, Jun 15, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development Area Specialist Janell Telin joined Sisseton-Wahpeton College President Elden Lawrence to dedicate the new $1.5 million Wowapi Opahi Oyanke library.
The grand opening/open house was held to celebrate the completion of construction of the new library. Funding for the project included $661,500 of Community Facility Tribal College and Economic Impact Initiative funds from USDA Rural Development leveraged with Department of Education funds of $947,135, and Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate funds of $90,000, in addition to other funding.
USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks said, “USDA Rural Development is honored to be a part of this dedication. Area residents including both adults and children will have the opportunity to use a modern facility that can provide an educational and life-long learning experience.”
The new library is a 4,600 square foot building on the Sisseton-Wahpeton College Campus, adjacent to the main building. The building was designed by English and Smart Architects, LLC. and built by Isanti Construction Services Inc. The building includes a brick mural as a design element that is a culturally contextual work of art. The brick mural was carved by brick artist Jay Tschetter with cultural input by local Dakota Elders Orsen Bernard, Olivia Eastman, Wayne Eastman, Delbert Pumpkinseed and David Seaboy. The facility will house SWO Archives, the librarian’s office, reception desk, restrooms, reading areas, and children’s area. In the future, new furniture and book stacks will be purchased for the facility. Other improvements include ADA accessible parking lot and sidewalks and landscaping around the facility.
“The SWC Library is a multipurpose facility that will provide research and study materials to expand the knowledge base for students and an essential asset for future planning while serving as a solemn repository for preserving relics and ruins of the past world and glories of the modern,” said Elden Lawrence, Sisseton-Wahpeton College President.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $165 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas.