KDAL: Ground Broken For New School
BENA, MN (KDAL) - The School Board and Superintendent of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe officially broke ground for the new Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig High School in Bena today (Wednesday).
Earlier in the year, the band announced that it was successful in securing federal funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs for a new high school.
The run down condition of the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig school has been documented in local and national media over recent years noting rotten flooring, poor insulation, broken heaters, rodent infestation and exposed wiring.
Leech Lake Band Chairman, Faron Jackson says the groundbreaking "marks the final step in creating a safe environment for our children to learn and grow." Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig Superintendent Mary Trapp says the new school is "an example of the success of our community coming together to help our students succeed and we're all looking forward to it."
Senator Al Franken says, “Students at Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig have faced horrendous conditions in their classrooms for years—it was disgraceful, deplorable, and terrible for learning,”
The democrat went onto say, “Students, teachers, and faculty had to deal with freezing temperatures, leaky pipes, dangerous wiring, and mold and sewer problems. That’s why this groundbreaking is so important: it means that so many bright young students in Indian Country will be able to feel safe and comfortable to learn and reach their full potential.”
Congressman Rick Nolan says he's pleased, "...that we were able to come together and secure this new facility for our Leech Lake students as we honor our obligations and send the message to students in Indian Country that their education and their success in life are important to all of us. Forcing them to go to school in facilities in utter disrepair simply did not send that message.”