Osage unveil $23M campus plan

Roseanne SuttonSpecial to the J-C
Osage unveil $23M campus plan

On April 19, Principal Chief John D. Red Eagle signed ONCA 13-13 into law, which authorizes Phase I of the Osage Nation Master Campus Plan to begin.

The estimated cost for construction of Phase I is $23 million dollars. ONCA 13-13 authorizes $13 million to be taken from the Osage Nation Treasury and ONCR 13-01, approved on December 6, 2012, authorized a loan of up to $13 million.

“This was one of my campaign promises because it was what the constituents wanted as part of the Nation’s 25-year Strategic Plan,” said Chief Red Eagle.

Osage Congressman R. J. Walker, who was the Director of the Osage Nation Roads Department before being elected to Congress in 2012, was the sole sponsor of the bill.

“This is a necessary step forward in order to meet the needs of our employees, and their ability to meet the needs of those that we serve,” said Walker.

Bruce Cass, Director of the Osage Nation Tribal Development and Land Acquisition Department, and the members of the Master Planning Committee have worked diligently for several years with the architects, Collins Woerman, based in Seattle, to design the Master Campus Plan.

“This fiscal year our plan is to have all of the design for the Phase I build-out finished and be procuring construction services for the project by the end of the fiscal year,” said Cass.

The buildings designed for Phase I are based on estimates by the architects on a per-foot basis using industry standards, with an eye toward modification during the integrated design process currently underway, Walker said.

The actual bids received and building material costs will affect how much of this design is achieved in Phase I, according to Cass.

On April 3, at a Government Operations Committee meeting, the Collins Woerman architects gave an overview of the Phase I design.

Senior Associate Pat Logan of Collins Woerman showed drawings of the design to members of Congress and explained the design details. Inside the Welcome Center, the waiting area is open with a stairway visible which leads to the second floor, he said. On the first floor, a small area for children is planned as well. Graphics will state the purpose of each area of the building. Inside the buildings, dark wood and stone were used as the primary building materials.

“The Welcome Center will be constructed of terra cotta tile with a base of stone near the ground,” said Logan.

Later, Cass explained that the terra cotta is an exterior facade being considered because it does not require maintenance over a long period of time.

At the meeting, Logan explained that these will be 100-year buildings with slanted, 50-year roofs with many glass windows to create an open feeling, and terraces on the second floor. This design allows for natural light with triple-pane, insulated windows to prevent additional heat gain.

The buildings are being constructed to enable the second floor terraces to be easily converted to office space if this were ever needed, Silas Satepauhoodle of the Osage Nation Tribal Development and Land Acquisition Department told the committee members.

“The buildings are an expression of their use — modern, clean, forward thinking buildings,” said Logan.

The buildings are being constructed in a way that will allow for green features to be added even after construction is complete in a cost-efficient manner, Cass said. Geothermal systems for heating and cooling could be included in Phase I for less than 2 million dollars. The geothermal system, which is a sustainability measure, and other green features will be considered as the Phase I budget allows.

According to Cass, directors of each department at the Osage Nation have been consulted to determine which services should be placed in proximity to one another for the convenience of Osage constituents.

The first building will hold the Welcome Center, which will establish the entrance to the Osage Nation. This first building will also contain Constituent Services, Osage News, Tax Commission, Human Resources, CDIB and Membership offices, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Grants.

A second building will have space for: the Treasury Department, Osage Nation Police Department, Emergency Management and the Attorney General.

A third building will contain Tribal Works, Tribal Development and Land Acquisition, the Roads Department and the Shipping/Receiving Warehouse.

Infrastructure to support these buildings will include walkways, roads, signage, parking and utility upgrades, Cass said.