Portland, Ore., Jun 14, 2013 -- USDA Rural Development’s Chief of Staff for Housing and Community Facilities, Dom McCoy, today announced the award of a $6.8 million loan to The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon for the construction of a modern new K-8 school complex.
“On behalf of Secretary Tom Vilsack and myself, I want to commend the people and the government of The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon and the Jefferson County School District 509-J of Oregon for their commitment to education and investing in the next generation,” McCoy said.
According to the Tribal government, the education and development of Warm Springs youth has always been a top priority. As such, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs of Oregon, along with the Jefferson County School District 509-J, identified this school project as a key step in ensuring Warm Springs children and the overall community can continue to advance and prosper.
The USDA loan leverages $4.6 million in funds from the tribal government as well as $10.7 million from Jefferson County School District 509-J. Through a Memorandum of Agreement and an Inter-agency Education Agreement between the Jefferson County School District 509-J, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs will provide 50 percent of the total project budget of $21,472,600.
The project will replace an 83-year-old elementary school with a new 80,000 square foot school complex on approximately 32 acres of land. Approximately 720 schoolchildren will benefit from the additional space for meeting current and future educational needs, tribal cultural arts and music programs, a new kitchen, and multi-purpose sports facilities. In addition, the project will entail the development of a new water reservoir and additional sewer infrastructure to accommodate the facility.
“Sovereign tribal nations are true leaders helping rural communities thrive into the future,” McCoy said. “USDA is committed to working alongside tribal governments and Native American communities to help grow the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, and civic leaders—right here in rural America.”
President Obama has emphasized the importance of investments in education to ensure that we inspire innovation, raise graduation rates, and ultimately out-educate our global competitors. Consistent with that priority, USDA has helped build and upgrade hundreds of schools and libraries across rural America through its Community Facilities program over the past four years.
“We must all work together to put the next generation on the path to success,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Vicki Walker. “USDA is committed to helping rural communities and school districts provide the top-notch education that will give our kids the best possible chance to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.”
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
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 $828 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.
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