In Warm Springs, tribal officials joined with federal, state and local representatives Friday to break ground on a new school for grades K through 8.
The new facility will replace the reservation’s aging elementary school which dates back to the early 1930’s.
In separate votes last year, residents of Warm Springs and neighboring Jefferson County approved a plan to split the cost of the $21 million project.
But until now construction has been on hold while the tribes awaited final approval on $6.8 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Vicki Walker is the state director for USDA’s rural development program. She says with that final piece of the puzzle in place, students in Warm Springs have a lot to look forward to.
“You know when you walk into a brand new facility you’re excited. You’re excited to learn. You’re excited about the potential for your future. You’re excited about the potential here specifically of the contribution you can make to the tribal nations that make up the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs,” said Walker.
The new school is expected to hold its first classes in the fall of 2014.