To learn, children and adolescents need to feel safe and supported. Educators around the world have long recognized the critical importance of providing a healthy, safe, and supportive classroom & school environment. Without these conditions, the mind reverts to a focus on survival.
Sitting on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation, in northern Montana, the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School received national attention — and a few congressional hearings — for what elected leaders called, “deplorable”, conditions. Students were attending school in a drafty pole barn with broken plumbing, a bat infestation and a structure so weak that students were forced to leave if wind gusts topped 40 miles per hour. The school has received nearly $12 million in federal money to rebuild.
Rock Gap Engineering (RGE) was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to provide construction inspection and construction administration services. The new school will be 44,000 square feet and will include multiple classrooms, one science lab, a computer lab, administrative offices, kitchen and dining room, a media center, and a gymnasium. The School will be energy efficient with a state of the art heating and cooling system; including a renewable energy ground source heat pump system. While RGE has had a full-time inspector at the project site since April 2017, the project now has an anticipated completion date of early spring 2018. In addition to inspection, RGE has provided cost estimating, reporting, and administrative services supporting the BIA.